New York City Still Has the Country's Most Expensive Cigarettes


Yesterday California voters rejected Proposition 86, which would have raised the state's cigarette tax from 87 cents to $3.47 a pack, with the money earmarked for health care programs. The 300 percent hike would have made California's cigarette tax the highest in the nation, a distinction currently held by New York City, which slaps its own $1.50-a-pack tax on top of a $1.50 state tax. Although only 15 percent of Californians smoke cigarettes, the vote was 52 percent to 48 percent. Perhaps the results signal that there are limits to the persecution of smokers even in California. At any rate, it's good news whenever voters turn down the opportunity to pay for worthy-sounding services with other people's money.