Two packs of Marlboro cigarettes are seen here, the one on the left with a New York City and state tax stamp, and on the right a Virginia tax stamp. New York City's war on smoking is being undercut by light penalties for merchants caught selling cheap cigarettes smuggled in from low-tax states.
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High taxes have emerged as the No. 1 weapon in the war on smoking. The more cigarettes cost, research has shown, the fewer people buy them. That is one of the reasons six states are considering proposals to hike tobacco taxes.