Louis I Lang

10 things I learned about sin at the Fed

10 things I learned about sin at the Fed

Illinois' population is more than double that of Missouri's, yet the Show-Me State sells 30 percent more cigarette packs annually than its more populous neighbor.

The reason: Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the nation. As Chicago's tax has risen in recent years to $7.17 per pack, the nation's highest, smuggling also has lit up.

"The profitability of illicit cigarettes is higher than illicit drug sales, while the punishment is next to nothing," said Brian Cooper, acting head of criminal investigations at the Illinois Department of Revenue. "These criminals that are running these cigarettes (from Missouri to Illinois), they can double their...