Pack of Smokes in NY Jails: $200
A ban on smoking has led to a budding black market behind bars
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2013 11:36 AM CDT
A single cigarette runs a price tag of $30 on NY jail's black market   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – Smoking will now also kill your wallet—at least if you're behind bars in New York, where Michael Bloomberg's ban on smoking has led to black market prices that have hit a staggering $200 a pack. As the New York Daily News reports, contraband busts have risen by 40% in the past three years and sources say that a single cigarette, with a street price of 50 to 75 cents, now sells for $30 at Rikers Island.

There have been 20 related arrests so far in 2013, including one produce deliveryman who tried to smuggle in what prosecutors call "a serious haul" of four bags of tobacco. Not content with prisons, Bloomberg also wants to jack the smoking age to 21, and hide cigarette displays in stores.

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Showing 3 of 29 comments
okaragozian
May 6, 2013 10:38 PM CDT
Amazing!
Drewzy
May 6, 2013 4:30 PM CDT
If I were incarcerated and desperate for a smoke, I'd rather fork over $30 bucks than have to "earn" it!
JustinCase23
May 6, 2013 2:03 PM CDT
A1e8a , I just read that link , and I only find that 90% of lung cancer is caused by cigarette smokers . Where are you getting this information that 90% of criminals are smokers ? That seems ridiculous in my opinion . I know plenty of smokers , or ex smokers that have never even had a parking ticket . Also just to play devils advocate . Not to many complain when our state's benefit from the sales tax associated with tobacco sales . That money pays for education lottery , parks , new signs , and benefits the community . So even though I am not a smoker . I think it is hypocritical to say I don't support the sales of cigarettes when I have bought a lottery ticket , and enjoyed other luxury's it pays for .