Accepted wisdom states that you should spend no more than 25 to 30 percent of your income on rent. According to a study published by the non-profit research firm RTI, low-income smokers in New York State spend that much on cigarettes (for contrast, New York smokers who make over $60,000 spend just 2.2 percent of their income on butts). The paper takes aim at New York’s tobacco taxes, which are the highest in the nation. “Although high cigarette taxes are an effective method for reducing cigarette smoking, they can impose a significant financial burden on low-income smokers,” wrote Matthew Farrelly and his co-authors in the study. The researchers contended that the state should spend more of the revenue collected from cigarette taxes on programs to help low-income smokers quit.

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