Native Smokes Near Me

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Native smokes near me paint and a clutter of signs announcing sales of Newports, Marlboros and Kools, Doogie’s Smoke Shop is one of many tobacco outlets on the Seneca Nation in western New York. These reservation vendors — including gas stations, mail-order cigarette outlets and other smoke shops — provide employment for hundreds of tribal members in a region with high unemployment. The proceeds support programs like college scholarships, housing assistance and a health clinic. But these businesses also contribute to a growing smuggling problem that state and tribal officials are trying to address with varying degrees of success.

Locating Cigarette Retailers Nearby: A Quick Guide

Wholesalers flooded New York reservations with 6.4 billion cigarettes in 2007, and manufacturers such as Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard accounted for two-thirds of the total. But the tribal stores sold them without state excise taxes, and the names on the packaging remained hidden from the state’s tax department. The stores smuggled the name-brand cigarettes into non-Indian communities, and a black market flourished.

The tobacco companies’ sales representatives visit the shops monthly to check inventory, update signs and offer price cuts in exchange for prominent shelf space. And in a bid to lure smokers away from the native-made cigarettes, the big manufacturers have launched e-cigarette campaigns targeted at Indian users.

But state lawmakers and the owners of convenience stores have pushed Gov. David Paterson to target the cigarette smuggling that goes on at the reservations. And the state’s new law, which requires that manufacturers certify they won’t sell their cigarettes to reservation smoke shops, could be a significant step forward in the effort to stop the smuggling.

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