Center Research Cited in Five Hearst Papers

Higher cigarette taxes lead to more smuggling

Mackinac Center research on how increasing tobacco taxes also increases cigarette smuggling is featured in a story that ran in multiple Hearst newspapers in New England.

The Connecticut Post, Stamford Advocate, New Canaan News, the Darien News and Danbury News-Times all reported that Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has sponsored legislation seeking to increase the federal cigarette tax from $1.01 to $1.95.

“The political class is turning cigarette packs into little gold bars by hiking these taxes,” said Michael LaFaive, director of the Center’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative.

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LaFaive’s research shows that Connecticut, which has the fourth highest cigarette tax in the national at $3.40 per pack, ranks 14th in the country for cigarette smuggling. Just over 22 percent of cigarettes consumed in the Nutmeg State in 2011 were smuggled, a 10 percent increase over the Center’s 2009 estimate.


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