An additional $1.25-a-pack tax on cigarettes goes into effect Tuesday, meaning that a carton of name brand smokes will cost a staggering $85. If the average cost of a box of premium brand cigarettes rises to $8.50, 50% of that cost is directly related to taxes ($2.75 to the State, $1.50 to the City).
The Center for a Tobacco Free New York hopes that the latest tax increase will cause another 6% of the state's smokers to quit, although critics say that the additional cost will just push more people into the black market for cigarettes or to Indian Reservations.
Mayor Bloomberg has declared Tuesday "NYC Quits Day," and the Dept. of Health will be distributing smoking cessation products and information urging smokers to kick the habit. There's even a breakdown of what a smoker could buy if he/she quit a pack a day habit (that means saving $240/month or $3000/year), including "Rent an apartment with one additional bedroom." And then, of course, there are the health benefits to not smoking.
Recently, the City started running an ad campaign aiming to scare the hell out of smokers by featuring disfigured people who attributed their injuries to years of smoking.