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

(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.

A single cigarette runs a price tag of $30 on NY jail's black market
A single cigarette runs a price tag of $30 on NY jail's black market   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
You don't even want to think about what this would cost an inmate in New York, where cigarette prices have hit $200 a pack on the black market.
You don't even want to think about what this would cost an inmate in New York, where cigarette prices have hit $200 a pack on the black market.   (AP Photo/David Duprey)
You don't even want to think about what this would cost an inmate in New York, where cigarette prices have hit $200 a pack on the black market.
You don't even want to think about what this would cost an inmate in New York, where cigarette prices have hit $200 a pack on the black market.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
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