Tobacco products sold in New York may soon see a hefty tax increase.

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There is a proposed bill, Assembly Bill A10016, sitting in the New York Legislature and this bill is looking to increase the tax on cigars from 75 percent to a whopping 95 percent. New York already has the highest cigar tax in the United States so this additional 20 percent tax on the existing tax, would be astronomical.

That's not all. Assembly Bill A10016 which was introduced on April 29, 2022, doesn't just propose an increase on the tax of cigars sold in New York but also amends "certain definitions relating to tobacco products; changes the minimum pack sizes for tobacco products" and more.

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In her State of the State address in January, New York Governor Kathy Hochul spoke of her desire to increase the tax on cigarettes, raising taxes by $1.00 from $4.35 to $5.35 per pack. Additionally, Hochul wants to set plans in motion to ban all flavored tobacco products and make New York a tobacco free state.

Governor Hochul pointed out that each year there are roughly 4,300 new smokers in the state of New York who are under the age of 18 and 628,200 adults in New York die from tobacco use each year. Health officials and anti-smoking advocates applaud the plans laid out by Governor Hochul.

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According to Tobacco Free Kids, New York already has the highest tax on cigarettes with Connecticut and Rhode Island not far behind but a $1.00 increase would give New York a hefty lead.

In addition to those who use tobacco products and who are unhappy with the proposed changes, many tobacco retailers are not pleased with the ongoing plan to increase the cigarette tax. These retailers have expressed that they think New York should instead focus on the illegal shipment and sale of tobacco in the state.

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