New York State plans nation's highest cigarette tax..

April 3, 2008 - New York State plans nation's highest cigarette tax.. New York's government leaders have agreed to boost the state cigarette tax by $1.25 per pack to create the nation's highest state cigarette tax, officials said Wednesday (4/2/2008). New York's $2.75-per-pack tax would jump ahead of New Jersey for the highest state tax in the nation. New York has been ranked the 16th highest with a tax of $1.50 tax per pack. In New York, the average price of a pack of cigarettes is about $5.82 statewide. The first increase in the cigarette tax since 2002 was considered essential by many in Albany (the capital) as they tried to craft a 2008-09 budget with an estimated $5 billion deficit and declining revenue growth. Much of the cigarette tax revenue would be used for health programs, including those to help smokers quit and keep youths from starting. A 10% increase in cigarette prices leads to a 4% decline in smoking. Half of the 4% decline typically comes from declines in smoking prevalence and half from decreased consumption. See related news brief: Big tobacco tax hike ahead for New York State? Click on image to enlarge..