Reducing cigarette smuggling

R.J. Reynolds wants to fight cigarette smuggling. Maybe it could ask NC to raise tobacco taxes?

R.J. Reynolds has launched an anti-cigarette-smuggling website and hired a former ATF agent to help the company encourage tougher enforcement against the massive flow of cigarettes from low-tax states such as North Carolina to high-tax states such as New York. That’s certainly an improvement compared to RJR’s previous pattern of active collusion with smuggling enterprises. But if Reynolds really wants to reduce the flow of smuggled cigarettes, it could ask the North Carolina legislature to shrink the tax gradient that creates the incentive to smuggle by raising NC’s own cigarette taxes.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

2 thoughts on “Reducing cigarette smuggling”

  1. Better still: raise Fed tax very high, forbid state tax, and rebate to the states a percentage of tax collected within their borders.

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