Blowing Smoke: Does Tax Evasion via Cross-Border Sales Erode the Impact of Cigarette Taxes?
Smokers, like all people, respond to incentives. One powerful incentive is price. When something becomes more expensive, people are less likely to consume that item. This fact is borne out in the extensive literature on the impact of cigarette taxes on smoking: As prices rise through taxes, fewer people smoke. This happens by keeping non-smokers, including youth, from starting in the first place and by encouraging current smokers to quit. But do increases in cigarette taxes in one state incen…