Congress moves to kill the internet cigarette trade


I wrote recently about the growing black market in tobacco smuggling. Another tax-avoidance approach some cigarette smokers have embraced is buying tobacco over the internet. Now Congress is considering a bill that would put probably fatal restrictions on this trade.

One of the sponsors of the bill, Anthony Weiner (D, NY), estimates that New York City alone is losing up to $150 million in tax revenue annually from internet sales. With taxes, a pack of butts in the city runs around $9, or $90 a carton. The same carton of Marlboros would cost $44.00 plus shipping over the internet from, a company based in "sovereign native American territory." I think we can all see the problem, even through the cloud of smoke.