NYC's $11 cigarettes mean it's time to quit

With the New York legislature approving new taxes on tobacco products as part of a emergency state spending plug this week, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes in New York City could go to $11 starting July 1 -- the highest in the country.

The tax on smokeless tobacco also is going up to $2 an ounce, The New York Times is reporting. Other taxes including those on cigars and dips also is going up. In addition, the state also wants to start collecting taxes on cigarettes sold to visitors on Indian reservations.

While some smoking cessation proponents hope that higher taxes mean people will quit smoking, not everyone's convinced that will happen.

Tamara Leach, the tobacco recovery program director at the nonprofit Lifespan, says it depends on a smoker's resolve. "Addiction is strong. If people don't want to quit, they won't -- bottom line," Leach told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

In a blog post in May, CigarettePriceWatch criticized such taxes because they single out smokers. "Fairness to smokers isn't important to them."

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