Also Tuesday, several North Dakota cigarette distributers opposed a second measure to place tax stamps on cigarettes.
North Dakota, North Carolina and South Carolina are the only states that do not require a tax stamp on a pack of cigarettes, said Steve Grimaldi, director of security for by Reynolds American Inc., which owns the nation's second-biggest tobacco company, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
"The lack of a tax stamp combined with the relatively low price of cigarettes ... makes North Dakota a target state for those individuals and organizations engaged in trafficking black market cigarettes," Grimaldi told lawmakers.
He said his company estimates that as much as a third of the cigarettes sold in North Dakota, about 17 million packs a year, "are likely being exported to other states."
John Job, a spokesman for a Bismarck-based cigarette distributor, said the machinery and training necessary to place tax stamps on cigarette is expensive for companies.
"Without any way to recoup our costs, I view it as a tax on our industry," he told the committee, which took no action on the proposed legislation.
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