black market tobacco

NYACS President Jim Calvin spoke Monday at Campus Mobil in Albany.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

With New York’s tobacco sales age raising from 18 to 21 this week, Albany County legislators are set to decide whether to prohibit the sale of most flavored tobacco products.

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Recent statistics show more cigarettes are smuggled into New York than any other state. Local tobacco merchants say it’s no coincidence, because the state’s markup on cigarettes has gone up about 200 percent since 2006.

npr.org

Black market tobacco is big business in Massachusetts. Stricter enforcement and tougher penalties are needed to discourage illegal cigarette smuggling.  Those are the key findings of the nine-member Illegal Tobacco Commission, which was created last year by the state Legislature to look at the problem and recently issued a final report.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Massachusetts revenue commissioner Amy Pitter, who chaired the Illegal Tobacco Commission.