Cigarette Smuggling on the Rise

July 20, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reports on an increase in cigarette smuggling:

“People have smuggled cigarettes from North Carolina and Virginia up north in the past, but we haven’t seen the volume we are seeing today where it’s tracked by the trailer load,” said Capt. Dennis Wilson, commander of the criminal-intelligence division for the Fairfax County police, who are working with the ATF.

With ten states increasing cigarette taxes this year: Arkansas (new rate of $1.15), Florida ($1.34), Hawaii ($2.60), Kentucky ($0.60), Mississippi ($0.68), New Jersey ($2.70), New Hampshire ($1.78), Rhode Island ($3.46), Vermont ($2.24) and Wisconsin ($2.52). It’s safe to say that cigarette smuggling will continue to be big business.

Chief Economist Patrick Fleenor has previously written on the relationship between cigarette taxes and crime.

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