Why a pack of cigarettes costs $13 in New York City but less than $5 in Kentucky

For more than a decade, Kristin Page-Nei begged Montana lawmakers to raise cigarette prices. As a health advocate for the American Cancer Society, she watched year after year as other states increased their cigarette taxes and lowered their smoking rates. "What they're doing is saving lives," she kept saying.

Finally, this spring, she helped convince state senators to raise cigarette taxes for the first time in 12 years. Then came the tobacco lobbyists.

Bankrolled by the country's two...

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