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New York announces cigarette tax hike

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ALBANY, N.Y. A statewide hike in cigarette taxes effective today drove the price of cigarettes in New York up $1.25 spike per pack. Officials said that the influx will bring an additional $265 million to the state in tax revenue per year.

Officials predicted that total cigarette taxes should generate about $1.3 billion for the state in fiscal 2008-2009.

New York health commissioner Richard Daines said, “This is a public health victory. We know one of the really effective tools to get people off of their nicotine addiction is to the raise the price.”

The total state tax per pack is set at $2.75, up from $1.50. Previously, the statewide average price per pack was $5.82, but that average l is slated to go up to $8. In most retail stores in New York City, smokers should expect to pay about $10 per pack.

Daines said officials estimated that approximately 140,000 New Yorkers will stop smoking due to the tax increase.

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