Nanny State

NYC Ban on Smoking in Jail Creates Black Market

$200 per pack


The Bloomberg administration's ban on smoking behind bars in 2003 has led to a burgeoning black market.

The average price for a single smoke at Rikers Island is $30, jail sources said — a far cry from the 50 to 75 cents a "loosie" typically costs at a bodega. And full packs that legally sell for $15 in stores can bring as much as $200 in the Rikers Island "brown market," according to a DA source.

To combat the underground trade, the Correction Department uses dogs to sniff out drugs, tobacco and even cellphones.

But the union representing correction officers has opposed using those canines in jail workers' locker rooms and other staff spots, arguing officers shouldn't be treated like inmates.