HOLMBERG: ‘Butt-smuggling a direct result of government profiteering from tobacco
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Pssst! Hey, buddy, you want to make some big, quick money?
Thousands a day, cash money?
State, federal, and, in some cases, city taxes have pushed the price of smokes so high in some areas, it is literally more profitable to hijack a truck filled with cigarettes than an armored car.
The problem is worst in New York, which has the highest cigarette taxes in the land. In New York City, that tax is more than $5 a pack. Smugglers rush there from Virginia, which has the lowest state taxes on cigarettes, just 30 cents.
Now, they’re selling loose cigarettes – loosies, for 75 cents apiece on the black market.