BUFFALO, N.Y. - The cost of a pack of cigarettes in New York State is now more expensive. The state legislature approved the hike for July first in one of the budget extenders the governor put out. But not all smokers are willing to pay more.
People are showing up in big numbers at Indian reservations like at Smokin' Joes in the Tuscarora Nation because they can get them tax free.
"We definitely do see an increase in business here," said Ed Farnham, Manager of Smokin' Joes.
And they're stocking up for more big purchases as smokers stock up on their addictive habits.
Taxes for a pack of cigarettes in New York State before the July first increase was $2.75. Now, $1.60 will be added to that tax bringing the total to $4.35.
On average, a pack will now cost about $9. Premiums like Marlboros we saw at one gas station cost $7.17 but add the tax and a Marlboro smoker will now pay $11.52 per pack.
"They tax us left and right anyway they can," said Kristen Choboy, a New York resident frustrated with the increase.
"All they can do to save their butts is just tax people more," said Louis Pelsoni, another resident frustrated.
Pelsoni is mad the legislature also voted to begin collecting taxes on cigarettes from Indian reservations beginning September first. Farnham expects a big court fight on that one as the state moves in on shops where many smokers seem to be heading.
"And they want to go after that piece of money they make for their people; pathetic, pathetic," said Pelsoni.
Cigarettes are even more expensive in New York City because they have an additional city tax. It would bring the cost of a pack of Marlboros there to about $13.