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