New York City -- a powerful and dominant metropolis. But not when it comes to cigarettes. NYC and the rest of the state tax cigarettes very highly in an effort to drive down consumption, to save lives, and to have a revenue source. In theory high levies do suppress use, including in terms of kids so they just never get started down the road of a highly toxic and addictive habit. Generally -- again in theory -- taxes are a useful device for health regulators to drive down use including in terms of tobacco, alcohol, junk food, and gambling.
The problem with the city's efforts is the surrounding states. They don't tax tobacco at nearly as high a rate. The result? Bad types bring cigarettes into New York from elsewhere.