Lower Tobacco Prices Help Indians
Smokers can save the cost of New York State's 56-cents-per-pack tax by shopping at American Indian stores.
Smoker buys cigarettes at Oneida Indian market.(AP Photo/Michael Okoniewski)When James Case runs out of smokes, his choice is clear. His brand, Marlboro Lights, costs $27.84 per carton at the Express Mart. Across the street, at the Sav On convenience store, run by the Oneida Indian Nation, the price is $25.50.
The Sav On shop, a few feet beyond the reach of New York state's 56-cent-a-pack tax, is one outpost in a nationwide enterprise that began with small stores on often isolated Indian reservations and grew into a multimillion dollar business.
The cut-rate tobacco prices that lure local resident Case and a steady stream of customers through the door are also available on the Internet. Cyber-retailers with names like ``Peace Pipe'' and ``Tax Free Cigarettes'' offer discounts to any consumer with a modem and a credit card.