No Extra Spending Needed to Enforce Tennessee Cigarette Enforcement

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The state is not increasing spending to enforce the law on how many cigarettes can be brought into Tennessee.

A plan was announced last month to keep an eye on people buying cigarettes from retailers just over state lines because of 42-cents-per-pack tax hike.

The lack of new funding or staffing was revealed through a records request by Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a conservative think tank.

Drew Johnson, the think tank's president, said he considers the enforcement program to be an elaborate ruse to scare consumers.

Revenue spokeswoman Sophie Moery said that the department is flexible enough to shift its attention without neglecting other enforcement areas.

Moery said it isn't up to the department to decide which laws it should enforce.

The department had previously denied a records request by The Associated Press on how many additional cigarettes have been seized.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)