Smugglers are increasingly turning their attention from drugs and firearms to reselling cigarettes on the black market, taking advantage of increased cigarette taxes in some states and making huge profits. Since 2007, at least 27 states have raised their cigarette taxes to erase deficits or cover healthcare costs. In New York, the tax on cigarettes is $4.35 a pack, and an additional tax in New York City boosts the total to $5.85 a pack. But the cigarette tax in Virginia is just 30 cents a pack, so smugglers can buy bulk quantities of smokes in Virginia and sell them in New York and other high-tax states at a huge profit a racket known to police as smurfing, according to The Economist. Other low-tax states include Louisiana (36 cents), Georgia (37 cents), and North Carolina (45 cents), while Rhode Island imposes a $3.46 tax, and Connecticut a $3.40 levy. In New Jersey, which imposes a tax of $2.70 per pack, about 40 percent of all cigarettes are reportedly smuggled in from Virginia and other states. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimates that illegal cigarette sales cost local, state and federal governments nearly $10 billion a year. Profits for the smugglers from cigarettes are better than from cocaine, heroin, marijuana or guns, according to the Virginia State Crime Commission, and penalties are far lighter than for drugs five years in jail under federal law, compared to possible life in prison for heroin. Virginia recently made it illegal to buy and possess, with intent to sell elsewhere, more than 5,000 cigarettes. But smugglers can easily fit 600 cartons 120,000 cigarettes in a car, which makes it easy for law enforcement to miss. Interstate 95 earned the moniker iron highway when gun-running along the Atlantic Coast was at its peak, The Economist adds, but now it is the new Tobacco Road.