I'll Take a Snowcone and a Pack of Newports

A New York gas station is selling cigarettes for reduced Connecticut prices.

By Amanda Raus
|  Wednesday, Apr 6, 2011  |  Updated 1:54 PM EDT
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A New York store can sell cigarettes at Connecticut prices by using an ice cream truck.

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An old ice cream truck is not a place where you'd think to buy cigarettes, but customers of a Sunoco gas station on the Connecticut-New York line have become accustomed to driving up to it to purchase a pack.

The Sunoco store is in Port Chester, N.Y., but the pumps are in Greenwich, Conn., so by placing the truck on the Greenwich side, the gas station can sell cigarettes at Connecticut prices. They are much lower than in New York.

Part of the reason is cigarette taxes. In Connecticut, the tax is $3. In New York, it’s $4.35.

"In Connecticut they're greatly cheaper than in New York. In New York, it's like $11.50 in the city for a pack of cigarettes. That's kind of ridiculous," Stacey Fryd, of Stamford, said.

"If you go to the Cumberland Farms over here, I think cigarettes are $8, or $10, but if you go to the gas station up there, they're $7.50. So this being right here saves a dollar, two," said David Arena, of Port Chester.

Before the truck was on the property, the gas station used to sell tobacco products out of a cart on the same location, customers said. 

"I didn't even know it was legal actually what they're doing. It just seemed kind of funny to me," Jesus Portillo, of Port Chester, said.

The truck is legal, according to the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services.

The store holds a cigarette tax license and, as long as the truck stays and sells the products from Greenwich sales tax applies.

"They're just trying to make money like anybody else you know," Anderson Perez, of Port Chester, said.

The only concern some customers have is over the ice cream decals on the truck. You cannot buy ice cream from it.

"When I came here with my son, and we pulled up over here, he thought I was getting him ice cream, so then I ended up having to go inside and get him ice cream, so I think they should take off the signs for ice cream," David Arena, of Port Chester, said.

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