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Texas to increase Tax on Cigarettes by 1$ on Jan 1st.
December 25, 2006 11:44 AM   Subscribe

Jan 1st, Texas to increase tax on cigarettes by $1. Texas will increase the sales tax on cigarettes from 41 cents to $1.41 on Jan 1st. Hoping to fund schools and fight the 1.5 billion dollar health care bill from smoking related illnesses.
posted by IronWolve (128 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Wisconsin's governor is proposing a boost, too -- from 77¢ to $1.77.
posted by dhartung at 11:50 AM on December 25, 2006


Or, I should say, saying he isn't opposed to a boost proposed by a coalition of public-health groups. There isn't actually any legislation yet.
posted by dhartung at 11:52 AM on December 25, 2006


It's a little experiment to see how much people will pay before resorting to buying stolen cigs or, heaven forbid, stop sucking down the smelly things.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:55 AM on December 25, 2006


Karl Marx has finally won.

Taxation of owr goddarned swivel-liburties to pay for social welfare?1?!1! Not with my gun, they don't!

(And they won't because I don't live in Texas...)
posted by vhsiv at 11:56 AM on December 25, 2006


it's kinda funny that one of the things they cite as a benefit is the anticipated reduction of teenagers from trying smoking due to the cost. just the other day, my next door neighbor, who has two teenagers living with her told me that the older one has taken up smoking. he, however, was rolling his own to keep costs down.

being a longtime handroller myself, he discovered the same thing i knew years ago: loose tobacco and papers are cheap! A week's supply of this 10 smokes per day costs me $3.50.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 12:03 PM on December 25, 2006


Can someone pass me a hankie as i cry the smokers a river to crocodile tears.
posted by MrLint at 12:04 PM on December 25, 2006


That's nothing.

"April 1, 2006

The Cook County, Illinois tax on cigarettes has doubled to $2 a pack, giving the city of Chicago the highest cigarette tax in the nation. County, city, state, and federal taxes on cigarettes now total $4.05 a pack in Chicago."
link
posted by lee at 12:06 PM on December 25, 2006


What ever happened to those laughable "Smoker's rights" groups that used to be featured in cigarette ads in PopSci Magazine, ca. mid-90s? Where is their God now?!?
posted by slater at 12:07 PM on December 25, 2006


tax the hell out of it, just don't start adding taxes to my booze.
posted by sourbrew at 12:08 PM on December 25, 2006


Had Tom Delay and Governor Perry been more intrested in balancing the budget and fixing the schools instead of gerrymandering for thier GOP overlords in not one, but two special sessions maybe we woudn't be saddled with this obviously unfair bullshit. I hear on the radio over and and over how the Texas Lottery contributes Billions to education each year yet we smokers now have to foot the bill so our fucktards be learnin. What the Fuck did Texas do with it allotment of the record breaking Tobacco settlement from many years ago. Oh yeah, Golfing Jaunts to Scotland and Skyseats in Redskin stadium. I hate My state and Sometimes Myself
Darwin Rocks- over
posted by svenvog at 12:14 PM on December 25, 2006


According to the BBC, marijuana is now the Excited States' largest cash crop. Let's tax it.
posted by lometogo at 12:18 PM on December 25, 2006


Missouri had a ballot initiative this past election to raise the state tobacco tax about 80 cents and it was turned down. I helped.
posted by wrapper at 12:22 PM on December 25, 2006


Sorry... how is this unfair? We choose to smoke; why shouldn't we be taxed on it?

I am a smoker, btw.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:23 PM on December 25, 2006


Somehow this tax manages to irk both the libertarian and the social liberal in me. The libertarian doesn't appreciate government getting into the business of penalizing legal behavior, and the social liberal notes that this kind of tax is punitive and disproportionally affects the poor.

If states are in the business of discouraging behavior by taxation, it might just be a matter of time before South Dakota decides to tax abortions, and use the revenues to fund abstinance education. Or tax birth control for unmarried women, in order to promote marriage. Because they're both public health issues, right?
posted by cotterpin at 12:23 PM on December 25, 2006


"Smokers' rights"? Last I checked, The Right To Smoke wasnt in the constitution or codified anywhere else. In fact, if the government were to so choose, they could make tobacco illegal just like marajuana. No smoking whatsoever. Anywhere, not even in your house.

I'm not saying its right, I'm just saying its legally possible.

In Nevada, we just passed a rather strict law regarding not smoking in buildings that serve food (except for casinos and other places with unrestricted gaming licenses). The bars and taverns are up in arms because they're going to have to choose between food and smoking. And many of them have already shut down thier kitchens and laid people off. So much for Vegas Freedom, eh? Fucking Californians and New Yorkers are runing this state.
posted by SirOmega at 12:25 PM on December 25, 2006


It is unfair because those people neglected to do thier job which is to fix the fuckin school systems in this state and instead the spent countless money curring favor with K street fucks like Abramoff and now that the bill has come They strong arm the smokers to pay the piper. I will pay my fair share of smoking tax but to increasse my tax tenfold because you failed us if unfair. Tax the fuckin churches tenfold i say. Unfair indeed my friend ...Unfair. And yes I know its a dirty filthy disguting and Expensive habit, my Mom still reminds me. And she has a buch of gifts waitin on my athiest ass right now so I gotta hit the road and buy a couple of cartons of that o so good Marlboro goodnes with tobacco goodnes to. The good thing is the internet will save me cause I'll be buyin from a neighborins state come January. (I really should quit but you know....)
posted by svenvog at 12:29 PM on December 25, 2006


Forgive me Im teh Hungover
Have a great time with your families today
I love you Metafilter
posted by svenvog at 12:30 PM on December 25, 2006 [4 favorites]


"Smokers' rights"? Last I checked, The Right To Smoke wasnt in the constitution or codified anywhere else. In fact, if the government were to so choose, they could make tobacco illegal just like marajuana. No smoking whatsoever. Anywhere, not even in your house.

Sure thing. Which made those ads in PopSci/PopMech even more bizarre: Picture of happy couple taking their "free" box of smokes out of their post box, and the tagline was "Try [brand xyz, i think it was virginia slims but not sure], get a box free!", and next to the happy couple was some fine print "Mr. & Mrs. So-and-so, proud members of Smoker's Rights, [some state]"

Am I the only one that remembers those ads?
posted by slater at 12:34 PM on December 25, 2006


They'd make a lot more money for schools and healthcare if they taxed the income and property of political agents that claim to be churches.
posted by cmonkey at 12:35 PM on December 25, 2006 [3 favorites]


As a long-time heavy smoker myself, I'm all for taxing the holy living snoot out of my favorite vice. What annoys me is the shrill little whiners complaining about secondhand smoke and trying to shuffle smokers off to the sidelines of society along with criminals and the elderly. It really got on my nerves when they started recruiting teenagers to do their propaganda, as if any reasonable adult should listen to a teenager about taxation and law. Regardless, the fundamental tactic of their propaganda aroundhere was something along the lines of "My daddy smokes, and I cough a lot. Pleaaase pity me." which just got on my last nerve.
On the other hand, I'm all for taxation and even restaurant bans, so whatevah.
posted by eparchos at 12:38 PM on December 25, 2006


Slater...I remember something like that. In high school I got a bunch of free packs of Camels in the mail by lying about my age (and name also) for some promotion that had ties to politics and was advertised in a a magazine like Car and Driver.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:39 PM on December 25, 2006


They should tax each pack $100 and help pay for the Iraq war and the costs incurred from the Bush regime.
posted by xammerboy at 12:43 PM on December 25, 2006


Is this something I'd have to be sober and not high for to understand?
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 12:50 PM on December 25, 2006


Taxing something an arbitrary amount doesn't necessarily equate to reducing behavior or raising money. As the tax increases, more and more people connect with illicit suppliers, as in prohibition. Canada had a similar problem when bootleggers smuggled them in from nearby border towns.
posted by Brian B. at 12:54 PM on December 25, 2006


These are honest questions:

If there is so little socialized medicine in the states, are smiking related costs really incurred by the state?

Don't smokers tend to die young, of heart attacks and massive strokes and lung cancer? Cheaper on balance than long term care for alzhiemers, elderly-related diseases, that go on for years in those who live to old age?

Becasue the debate is so polarized, I haven't been able to hear objective honest answers on these questions, from an unbiased source.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:54 PM on December 25, 2006


If there is so little socialized medicine in the states, are smoking related costs really incurred by the state?

Socialized healthcare is very complex in America, with a patchwork of programs designed to cover those that the insurance companies can't profit from, who also happen to smoke more. The feds pay for most healthcare through federal programs, but the states administer these funds in complex cost-sharing ways. The patchwork of healthcare programs is unevenly awarded based on age or poverty (the paperwork often filled out by hospital admins). This serves to divide and pacify enough of the electorate against unified healthcare. Basically, it ends up that the federal government pays 41 cents of every healthcare dollar, or just enough to avoid cost-capping influence. Note that the states have a right to tax tobacco, but because of lobbying efforts, this strategically forces the state governments to sue rather than tax.
posted by Brian B. at 1:12 PM on December 25, 2006


it's been high like that in michigan for quite some time ... which is why so many buy their smokes in indiana ... or roll their own, like i had been doing

thanks to recent unrelated, but inconvenient medical happenings, i've quit ...
posted by pyramid termite at 1:15 PM on December 25, 2006


Hopefully they'll confine this while in situ in Texas and it won't metastasize to other states.
posted by hal9k at 1:42 PM on December 25, 2006


Don't smokers tend to die young, of heart attacks and massive strokes and lung cancer? Cheaper on balance than long term care for alzhiemers, elderly-related diseases, that go on for years in those who live to old age?

It has be so argued, but the argument that cigarettes should be subsidized for the highest healthcare cost mechanism is moot. Universal healthcare is cheaper to supply, and the tax on disease causing agents is logically consistent with preventing and curing disease.
posted by Brian B. at 1:48 PM on December 25, 2006


Its tough, health care costs (while over inflated) does drain tax money, but I dont believe in sin taxes, use/sales tax yes.
posted by IronWolve at 1:51 PM on December 25, 2006


"Smokers' rights"? Last I checked, The Right To Smoke wasnt in the constitution or codified anywhere else.
Amendment X: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

In short: people have rights that aren't specifically guaranteed by the Constitution or other law, and just because something isn't in the Constitution doesn't mean it's not a right. Of course, the non-Constitutional rights are much easier to (legally) legislate away, and smoking is one of these.

I don't see this as a case of taking away any right, though; people would be just as free to smoke if they so chose, with this just adding the increased cost as a factor.
posted by Godbert at 2:04 PM on December 25, 2006


Crap. Should have been "Amendment IX", not "Amendment X".
posted by Godbert at 2:08 PM on December 25, 2006


Here in Ontario, tax is $3.09 a pack.
posted by Jairus at 2:09 PM on December 25, 2006


Hell xammerboy, let's just make it $10,000 a pack and use it to pay for everything!

All I see happening is more of this.
posted by squalor at 2:29 PM on December 25, 2006


I'd like to see a study showing that price elasticity for cigarettes is high, and that the law will make a difference in smoking habits. This is a pretty lame attempt at legislating healthy behavior. Why not create a hydrogenated oils tax? A sedentary lifestyle tax? A tax on working in an environment with substances known to be carcinogens (e.g. a gas station)?

If we're going to have a nanny state, do it right and provide health care with that tax money. Oh, you mean all that money and more has already been spent on a pointless war on the other side of the world? Damn.

Migmarket has name brand cigarettes for something like $16 per carton. They're probably very happy to hear this news.
posted by mullingitover at 2:32 PM on December 25, 2006


It's not, technically, a tax on smoking, it's a tax on the sale of tobacco. In the U.S., if you grow your own tobacco, it's still "free" and untaxed to smoke, but you're limited in where you can light up. In the EU, it looks like you have to pay excise taxes even if you grow your own tobacco, although how in the world the authorities would collect if you didn't volunteer payment, I've no idea.

Seems fairly sensible to me, tobacco long being a luxury good, in the market economy. Not all that different from raising your own chinchillas to make nice coats, or brewing your own alcoholic libations, on which you needn't pay any sales or excise taxes.
posted by paulsc at 2:35 PM on December 25, 2006


mullingitover: from the horse's mouth.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:39 PM on December 25, 2006


"Smokers' rights"? Last I checked, The Right To Smoke wasnt in the constitution or codified anywhere else.

That's because you don't understand the Constitution. The Constitution spells out the government's rights, called "powers", not our rights.

One of the biggest arguments against the Bill of Rights was that people, such as yourself, would use it to argue the people only have the rights specifically given to it. That's why the 10th Amendment was written.
posted by spaltavian at 2:39 PM on December 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


In the U.S., if you grow your own tobacco, it's still "free" and untaxed to smoke

Although I'm a non smoker, I decided to try growing tobacco a few years ago. The nicotiana rustica plants grew well outdoors in pots, then I cured the harvest in a dark, dry closet. About 3 plants provided a surprisingly abundant harvest, several ounces of dried smokeable material as I recall. Tobacco plants are beautiful as well, with large leaves of irridescent green.
posted by telstar at 2:48 PM on December 25, 2006


Taxes increased on legal addiction. Metafilter applauds.
posted by stirfry at 3:02 PM on December 25, 2006


I doubt any of this money will go directly to schools. Many forms of taxation or other sources of income like the state Lottery are sold to the voters with the promise that the money will go to schools. In the end, the money ends up going into the general fund and spent on what the legislators feel like that year.
posted by beowulf573 at 3:25 PM on December 25, 2006


I doubt any of this money will go directly to schools. Many forms of taxation or other sources of income like the state Lottery are sold to the voters with the promise that the money will go to schools. In the end, the money ends up going into the general fund and spent on what the legislators feel like that year.

I would prefer that it go to a general fund because it would be unethical to exploit smokers for a purpose other than perventing smoking, subsidizing the conversion from tobacco farming, helping them quit, getting smokers healthcare or promoting medical research.
posted by Brian B. at 3:44 PM on December 25, 2006


"Tobacco plants are beautiful", but walking a field, picking the worms (like this little fella) and popping their heads off until your hands turn green takes some of the fun out of growing them.
posted by crispynubbins at 4:00 PM on December 25, 2006


So if smoking is a "right." Why is marijuana illegal? Is there an amendment against pot?
Both are about equally annoying to me.
If someone wants to do it in there own house, they should be able to. But restaurant bans, ect seem fine for both too.
posted by Iax at 4:08 PM on December 25, 2006


I don't get why, if smoking is so goddamn evil, governments don't just make it illegal instead of slapping warnings and taxes on it, making it illegal to advertise in certain venues, etc.
If it's so bad, get rid of it. If not, shut the fuck up already.
posted by signal at 4:11 PM on December 25, 2006


I don't get why

Because it is profiteable for privates and for governments, even with all the negative publicity, the restrictions on advertisement etc it is still hugely profiteable.
posted by elpapacito at 4:23 PM on December 25, 2006


Odd - whn I was a smoker I didn't mnd the taxes. I also didn't give a damn about non-smoking bars and restaurants (but that's another rant entirely. Now that I'm a non-smoker I really, really resented the last round of tax-the-sinner innitiatives. As was mentioned upthread, this nonsense reall brings out my outer social liberal and inner libertarian.
posted by lekvar at 4:26 PM on December 25, 2006


Organized crime thanks the Texan legislature from the bottom of their hearts.

Lessee, Texas is about 17 hours from Virginia....
posted by codswallop at 4:26 PM on December 25, 2006


Also, when I was a smoker I could type vwls.
posted by lekvar at 4:27 PM on December 25, 2006


Canada had a similar problem when bootleggers smuggled them in from nearby border towns.
posted by Brian B. at 8:54 PM GMT on December 25 [+] [!]


Yes, they did. And I knew a few people who bought the smuggled cigarettes. But at the same time, my high-school friends and I all smoked a lot less when cigarettes were expensive. When they cut the taxes on cigarettes, saying "they didn't work", all the teenagers at my school doubled their habit. It was half-price, you see.

So I welcome high taxes. I know it hits the poor - for their sake, I hope it encourages them to cut down (as it did when we were kids with little spare money). I wish BC would get higher taxes - maybe then my dad will cut down and live longer.
posted by jb at 4:27 PM on December 25, 2006


Organized crime thanks the Texan legislature from the bottom of their hearts.

You are not thinking about Don Homer smuggling cigs, do you ? :) That's kind of a romantic view of the "heroic" lone wolves, Scarface, The Marsigliesi, the drug lords...a myth like Osama.

More likely, sometimes the very same industries are behind the smuggling.
posted by elpapacito at 4:47 PM on December 25, 2006


I don't get why, if smoking is so goddamn evil, governments don't just make it illegal instead of slapping warnings and taxes on it, making it illegal to advertise in certain venues, etc.
If it's so bad, get rid of it. If not, shut the fuck up already.


Because prohibition doesn't work and taxation is better than nothing.

Tobacco is legal because it makes a profit for enterprise America and stimulates workers, and because it grows in a relatively small area it can be controlled by a small group of owners. This raises the profits considerably, especially as an export, and puts it on the market where we can tax it. (Big Tobacco was once considered a monopoly that the US government spent millions breaking up, because tobacco was so easy to control).

Marijuana is illegal because it relaxes workers, and it can be grown everywhere by anyone therefore can't be controlled by big business. It would only cost the price of a common herb if you legalized it and the tax would be of little value.
posted by Brian B. at 4:56 PM on December 25, 2006


I wish BC would get higher taxes - maybe then my dad will cut down and live longer.

They were close to $10 a package when I visited BC a couple of months ago. I couldn't believe how many people were still smoking. I wonder if even higher prices would do much to cut consumption any futher.

I don't get why, if smoking is so goddamn evil, governments don't just make it illegal

Given how well that has worked for marijuana (see above), or any other arbitrarily illegal drug you'd care to name, or how well it worked during prohibition for alcohol, I think the answer to that question is pretty self-evident.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:09 PM on December 25, 2006


Here in Ontario, tax is $3.09 a pack.
posted by Jairus at 4:09 PM CST on December 25


Yeah but that's in the "pretend money" you use up there. We're talking about good ole USA greenbacks here.

In all seriousness, tax the shit out of it. Also, legalize pot, and tax the shit out of it too. Also, legalize prostitution and tax the shit out of it too.

The states would, literally, be awash in money.

Then remove the taxes from food and clothing, and add universal healthcare.

I fail to see the problem with this. As with any vice, the proper solution is legalize it, regulate it, tax it. If there is demand, there will always be supply.
posted by Ynoxas at 5:11 PM on December 25, 2006


Marijuana is illegal because it relaxes workers, and it can be grown everywhere by anyone therefore can't be controlled by big business.

I bet if tobacco had the same effect as marijuana, some enterprising individuals would certainly figure out how to grow it everywhere.
posted by dgbellak at 5:16 PM on December 25, 2006


I wonder if even higher prices would do much to cut consumption any futher.

Certainly, but their demand is not very elastic. As an ex-smoker I remember exactly not caring much about price, all I did was switching to national, marginally less expensive brands.I quitted two years ago and I am increasingly happier of that choice.

After reaching a certain price I think smugglers interest will kick in significantly, or the tobacco industry will start some harder lobbying effort, or both.

Yet I would immediately lift any smoking ban except on closed public areas, as it has primarily the effect of making it looks like a paternal imposition, the more I tell you can't do it, the more you like it and it gives "moral" ammo to Tobacco companies drones.

As the same time, increase slightly but constantly tax on sale maybe using the same line "nobody is forcing you to buy cigs"
posted by elpapacito at 5:28 PM on December 25, 2006


When I was a smoker, I gladly would have paid $15 a pack for the luxury of smoking. However, I would have smoked much less if it had cost that much. That's the point of social engineering. Banning smoking in public places and increasing the cost of cigarettes works. The fact that it generates money for schools or health care is just a convenient side benefit.

Relax, people. This isn't prohibition.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:36 PM on December 25, 2006


"taxation is better than nothing"

What?
posted by HuronBob at 7:12 PM on December 25, 2006


Shit.
posted by IronLizard at 7:39 PM on December 25, 2006


My first comment on the blue was bound to be regarding cigarettes I suppose. To so many people who know me in some regard I am merely a smoker, as if my nasty habit invalidates everything else I choose to do with my time. Mom would be so proud.

I've been alive for 20 years and smoking regularly for about three. I live in southern California, right next to the city with the second strictest (last time I checked) smoking policies in the U.S., Calabasas, CA. In Calabasas it is illegal to light up in any public area, and exactly what constitutes a shared area is interpreted rather loosely.

This past voting season Californians got to decide the fate of proposition 86, which sought to increase the state cigarette tax by an additional $2.60 per pack. Like every stout-hearted, black-lunged smoker ought to, I wheezed my way to the polls and helped shoot the bastard out of the sky. However, when I was considering what life would be like if the proposition had been successful, quitting right-out was never an option for me. Strange, since I always maintain that I plan on quitting all together. Sometimes I even consider my self "in the process" of doing so. But when I was faced with the prospect of my precious rolled-up sticks of tranquility costing me an additional three bucks (and my current smoking rate is a pack per day), I didn't welcome it as the incentive I needed to kick the habit. Rather I began planning an elaborate scheme to order mass quantities of cigarettes from out of state and somehow avoid paying the taxes.
posted by Curry at 7:46 PM on December 25, 2006


Good. Smokers need love too... But they got to pay.
posted by subaruwrx at 7:47 PM on December 25, 2006


Ynoxas writes "I fail to see the problem with this. As with any vice, the proper solution is legalize it, regulate it, tax it. If there is demand, there will always be supply."

Yes, exactly.

Legalization of pot* would lead inexorably to destroying most organized crime involvement in production. Not only will this end (for the most part) things like illegal grow-ops (which can be quite dangerous), but would also remove--again, for the most part--the associated crime.

Legalization of prostitution is an argument that is beneficial on its face. Let's stop marginalizing those who choose--or are fored into--prostitution, and treat them as no different (legally speaking) as porn performers--who are, let's face itm essentially sanctioned prostitutes.

* My only quibble with pot legalization is that we need a BReathalyzer equivalent. Driving impaired--be it alcohol, pot, other drugs, or sleep deprivation--needs to be met with absolutely draconian measures. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and if you are endangering other people with thousands of pounds of metal, you no longer get to enjoy that privilege. Until we can come up with such an equivalent, I am firmly on the side of decriminalization for reasonable amounts, but not full-blown legalization. Medical users don't count--but should absolutely have their DL's rendered invalid if they need to use every day for their condition.


Also, as a smoker, as much as it may be annoying to have to step outside a bar or restaurant to get my fix, I absolutely approve of it. For one, I hate trying to eat and having cigarette smoke around, and for another, my right to do something damaging to myself stops where your rigth to good health begins.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:50 PM on December 25, 2006


Native American reservations are not subject to state tax codes and will not be affected. Good news for them.....
posted by dibblda at 8:04 PM on December 25, 2006


Missouri had a ballot initiative this past election to raise the state tobacco tax about 80 cents and it was turned down. I helped.
posted by wrapper at 12:22 PM PST on December 25


Good thing you dodged that bullet, too. You might have had to spend 80 cents to pay for public schooling.

Now that I'm a non-smoker I really, really resented the last round of tax-the-sinner innitiatives.

We're not taxing the sinner. We're taxing the sin.
posted by hoborg at 8:08 PM on December 25, 2006


cmonkey has it. tax the fucking churches, then come after the vices.
posted by spitbull at 8:12 PM on December 25, 2006


when the fast food tax, the suv tax and the avalanche rescue tax finally kick in, we'll eventually have taxed ourselves into utopia, right?
posted by dflemingdotorg at 8:12 PM on December 25, 2006


So next the news from Texas will be that smoking has been reduced due to the tax increase. That will be a big pile of bull. If Texas is anything like MA. Smokers will go to border states that have lower taxes. In MA they squandered their many millions from the cigarette settlements by adding them to the general funds, and had to increase taxes by 1.50 per pack (plus sakes tax. So in effect taxing a tax) which is also finding its way to the general fund.

IMHO I am always quitting, so I never buy more than a pack at a time. Others I know have gone to generic brands. Nicotine sure is a strong drug...
posted by Gungho at 8:21 PM on December 25, 2006


That will be a big pile of bull. If Texas is anything like MA. Smokers will go to border states that have lower taxes.

Texas is nothing like Massachusetts.

Texas: 268,581 square miles.
Massachusetts: 10,555 square miles.

Or, if you want, you can fit 25.45 Massachusettses into one Texas.

Driving to the next state isn't trivial for most Texas Residents. Perhaps they'll fly.
posted by eriko at 9:17 PM on December 25, 2006


Wall, dad-plump it if we ain't found oursels a way to git them New Orleansians back whar they blong.
posted by dhartung at 10:07 PM on December 25, 2006


my right to do something damaging to myself stops where your right to good health begins.

Dirtynumbangelboy, you are officially the first smoker I've ever met who has understood this extremely simple concept. Thanks for restoring my faith in humanity.

I seriously don't get all this "nanny state" bullshit coming from most of the smokers I meet. When you smoke, and I'm in the same room, I'm smoking too. This isn't junk science. It's easily observable fact. And even if, for some reason that's beyond me, you choose not to accept the data on secondhandsmoking, there's still the fact that it's really really fucking disgusting to those of us who don't do it when we have to inhale your carcinogen-fueled air. I don't give a shit about your lungs. I give a shit about my own.

Tax the living fuck out of cigarettes. Make it illegal for smokers to light up anywhere except their cars and their homes. It's all fair, because you don't need to smoke, but I need to have clean lungs. There's no other acceptable answer.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:15 PM on December 25, 2006 [3 favorites]


The federal budget is around $2.5 trillion. Why not just make the tax on a pack of cigarettes $2.5 trillion? Sure, it would discourage the vast majority of smokers, but all you need is one person to buy one pack, and everyone else lives tax free for a year!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:19 PM on December 25, 2006


The UK should provide an interesting data point; (and yes, I know that's a tobacco trade association website) we have amongst the highest cigarette prices in the world, at currently £5.23 a pack, which is $10.24 a pack using google conversion. Even hand-rolled tobacco is expensive, with a 50g (1.76 ounce) pack costing £10.60 or $20.75.

UK duty paid cigarette sales have dropped 40% in the last 13 years, largely as a result of the price escalator (annually increasing prices in real terms) started in 1993. Overall cigarette consumption is estimated to have dropped, but not by much in the last 15 years (most gains were made in the 80s) Illegally smuggled or legal personally imported european cigarettes make up the difference. France is 2/3 the price of the UK, Belgium is 1/2 the price, and both are at most a half-days travel from anywhere in the UK. Those in the south of england can be across the channel, shop, and be back in a morning.

On the plus side, the government still takes in £10.5 billion from smokers, and spends £1.7 billion on smoking related diseases in the NHS.

Should be interesting to see what effect the English public-place smoking ban in July 2007 will have on consumption and the budget. The scottish smoking ban (illegal to smoke in 50% or greater covered public places, but legal to sell, buy, own or smoke at home) has been pretty successful.

Disclosure: I smoked for nearly 10 years, and quit 6 months ago.
posted by ArkhanJG at 10:21 PM on December 25, 2006


As a follow up: Are there any other vices that have a direct and immediate impact on the people surrounding the individual engaging in the vice? Like, a heroin addict might steal my wallet to pay for his next fix, but the actual act of shooting up heroin wouldn't affect me if he were right next to me when he did it.

I might get an STD from someone who has lots of unprotected sex, but I still made the choice to have sex with that person (unless I didn't, but that's sort of a different conversation).
posted by hifiparasol at 10:23 PM on December 25, 2006


How about if a bus driver or airline pilot are drinking or getting high? Could that directly effect those around the individual?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:27 PM on December 25, 2006


hifiparasol: It's all fair, because you don't need to smoke, but I need to have clean lungs. There's no other acceptable answer.

You don't need to be in someone else's bar. If you don't "get" the nanny state concerns, it's because you're not thinking.
posted by spaltavian at 11:37 PM on December 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the added tax is designed to curb smoking or simply to raise funds? If to curb smoking then I wonder why they couldn't funnel some of the added tax revenue into subsidies for stop-smoking aids. The patch is freakin' expensive!! It costs a lot to quit.

Every time I fail to quit, I am loathe to try again because my household budget was thrown out of wack by the added expense of the patch (or lozenge, or gum). That stuff is twice as expensive as cigarettes.

Okay, tax me like crazy.... but help a brother out!
posted by MotorNeuron at 11:52 PM on December 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


splatavian: You don't need to be in someone else's bar. If you don't "get" the nanny state concerns, it's because you're not thinking.

What if I work there?
posted by ladd at 1:52 AM on December 26, 2006


hifiparasol: "my right to do something damaging to myself stops where your right to good health begins.

Tax the living fuck out of cigarettes. Make it illegal for smokers to light up anywhere except their cars and their homes. It's all fair, because you don't need to smoke, but I need to have clean lungs. There's no other acceptable answer.
"

OK, here's a deal for you. When you start using public transport exclusively, I'll stop smoking in public?

Sound fair to you?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:09 AM on December 26, 2006


ArkhanJG: "The UK should provide an interesting data point; (and yes, I know that's a tobacco trade association website) we have amongst the highest cigarette prices in the world, at currently £5.23 a pack, which is $10.24 a pack using google conversion. Even hand-rolled tobacco is expensive, with a 50g (1.76 ounce) pack costing £10.60 or $20.75.
"

And for someone smoking two packs a day as I do, that's akin to the cost of a moderate heroin habit.

How long before we start seeing tobacco-related acquisitive crime?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:12 AM on December 26, 2006


When you start using public transport exclusively, I'll stop smoking in public?

False logic: Transport is a necessity; smoking is not.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:35 AM on December 26, 2006


Brian B.: Marijuana is illegal because it relaxes workers, and it can be grown everywhere by anyone therefore can't be controlled by big business.

I don't know if I believe the second part of that. Anyone can brew beer and make wine easily, legally, and cheaply, but hardly anyone does. With tobacco, it's not impossible to grow and it's simple to roll your own, and hardly anyone does that, either. If marijuana was legal, they could tax it, and only hobbyists would grow it, because most people would rather pay than be bothered. Even if the tax was ridiculous, most people would move to buying from the black market before they'd start gardening.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:10 AM on December 26, 2006


Bah. In the UK cigarettes still cost $10 a pack AND we're banning smoking in public places in the new year.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:12 AM on December 26, 2006


False logic: Transport is a necessity; smoking is not

Watch out , there is no need for private transport in every circumstance if there is a mass, public one. Yet even if you replaced all private transport with public, that still wouldn't satisfty mcdermott's request because any transport pollutes somewhere somehow.

As an ex-smoker I warn against using useless draconian measures against smokers, such as a ban on smoking in public OPEN or very well ventilated places ; expecially along streets the worse polluters are cars, not smokers.

I also find the idea of financing healthcare with smoking taxes both ironic and idiotic, as the number of smokers may as well reduce significantly for any reason, but the need of healthcare for other patients is unlikely to decrease proportionally.
posted by elpapacito at 3:41 AM on December 26, 2006


If Texas is anything like MA. Smokers will go to border states that have lower taxes.

Have you ever been to a convenience store here? The state pastime for townies is buying cigarettes, three or four specific scratch tickets and maybe the Herald.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:52 AM on December 26, 2006


The UK should provide an interesting data point; (and yes, I know that's a tobacco trade association website) we have amongst the highest cigarette prices in the world, at currently £5.23 a pack, which is $10.24 a pack using google conversion. Even hand-rolled tobacco is expensive, with a 50g (1.76 ounce) pack costing £10.60 or $20.75.

This is dangerously misleading when taken out of the context of the generally absurd cost of living in the UK. A 160g bag of potato chips (crisps here) costs more than 3 usd. A tiny 2 bedroom terrace house can cost over 200,000 usd in Birmingham ( and probably a million or something insane in London).

The UK has some of the highest prices in world for just about everything.

I will add that I don't go out as much as I would like here because I find the amount of smoke in restaurants and pubs so aversive and I am looking forward to the smoking ban taking affect (if it ever actually does).
posted by srboisvert at 4:11 AM on December 26, 2006


Ladd, so what about workers (and patrons). If the sign outside says 'This is a smoking establishment' You need not go in nor apply for a job. It is your choice as easily as it is our choice to smoke. For the most part people knew what to expect when applying for a job as a bartender or wait staff at a bar. The nannny state has decised to protect these people. How nice of my gubment to think of that. Gods know they wouldn't think of perhaps applying elsewhere.
posted by Gungho at 4:29 AM on December 26, 2006


Blazecock Pileon: "When you start using public transport exclusively, I'll stop smoking in public?

False logic: Transport is a necessity; smoking is not.
"

Which is precisely why my statement says public transport.

Transport is a necessity. Private transport is a luxury.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:56 AM on December 26, 2006


PeterMcDermott: Transport is a necessity. Private transport is a luxury.

Maybe where you live. Where I live, it just doesn't exist, and it won't ever be economical.
posted by Mitrovarr at 5:03 AM on December 26, 2006


elpapacito: "False logic: Transport is a necessity; smoking is not

Watch out , there is no need for private transport in every circumstance if there is a mass, public one. Yet even if you replaced all private transport with public, that still wouldn't satisfty mcdermott's request because any transport pollutes somewhere somehow.
"

You could use a bicycle. ;-)

Seriously, I thing the pollution costs and accident rates associated with public transport are a reasonable burden to expect society to bear for the common good. I'm even prepared to tolerate people driving around in their two-ton, death-dealing polluting machines.

But when people do drive, choosing their own freedom and convenience over the common good and also whine about other people smoking, then I've only got one word to describe them:

Hypocrites.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:09 AM on December 26, 2006


Metafilter: hypocrites
posted by Meatbomb at 5:13 AM on December 26, 2006


Mitrovarr: "PeterMcDermott: Transport is a necessity. Private transport is a luxury.

Maybe where you live. Where I live, it just doesn't exist, and it won't ever be economical.
"

Is it my fault that you choose to live in a rural area? The rest of us still have to subsidize the real economic costs of those choices.

Perhaps you should be grateful that you have the freedom to make such choices. Such a recognition might even lead to an implicit respect for the choices that others make.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:13 AM on December 26, 2006


And to be honest, I'm not sure why I'm getting into this. I actually support high taxes on cigarettes for public health reasons.

It's the smug, self-congratulatory wanking of the 'smokers are pariahs' league that winds me up. As if any sensible person would want to spend any time with such a bunch of joyless, sanctimonious bastards anyway...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:18 AM on December 26, 2006


Is it my fault that you choose to live in a rural area?

it may not be all that rural an area ... and there are useful economic activities that go on in rural areas, some of which, like growing food, would make city life impossible if they were not done

in fact, urban life is the real luxury ... the lower the level of civilization, the less there is
posted by pyramid termite at 6:04 AM on December 26, 2006


stavrosthewonderchicken - cool about the higher BC taxes. I actually had no idea what they might be He just moved there, I haven't been to visit - I was just thinking of someone I knew (and loved) whose smoking level does fluctuate with the price of cigarettes. Maybe the taxes have gotten him to cut back.
posted by jb at 7:00 AM on December 26, 2006


Or as Richard Klein (in Cigarettes Are Sublime) puts it: "Cigarettes are bad for you; that's why they're so good."
posted by spitbull at 8:01 AM on December 26, 2006


It's the smug, self-congratulatory wanking of the 'smokers are pariahs' league that winds me up. As if any sensible person would want to spend any time with such a bunch of joyless, sanctimonious bastards anyway...

Careful Peter. Don't get too wound up. You know how it makes you cough, sputter and wheeze.
posted by srboisvert at 8:06 AM on December 26, 2006


As an ex-smoker I warn against using useless draconian measures against smokers, such as a ban on smoking in public OPEN or very well ventilated places ; expecially along streets the worse polluters are cars, not smokers.

However, for those of us allergic to cigarette smoke but not to common car pollution, it's a very different situation, and I look forward to the day when no one smokes except in their homes or smoking bars.
posted by agregoli at 8:08 AM on December 26, 2006


hifiparasol, I was with you until the "make it illegal to light up anywhere but in your home or in your car." That's just ridiculous, and I'm not a smoker. You pollute, they pollute, both of you just have to deal with it. I'm all for banning smoking in places like restaurants that don't have separate ventilation for the smoking area, and other similar instances, but banning smoking outdoors is just ridiculous. And if you're like many, who feel that way because of the gaggle of smokers surrounding the entrances to buildings, here's a thought, lobby the owner of the building to build a smoking room indoors. That way, the smokers won't have to stand outside in the cold/rain/whatever, and you won't have to pass through their smoke on the way in.

There's absolutely no need to be a draconian ass about smokers, and there's no need for the smokers to subject you to their smoke in a materially harmful way, either, except for you and others having such an attitude about it. If I were a smoker, I'd want to blow smoke in your face just to piss you off because of your unnecessarily punitive attitude.

agregoli, I'm sure people with peanut allergies look forward to the day that nobody eats peanuts, and on and on. I sympathize with your condition, but you can't expect the rest of the world to stop doing something because it bothers you. Unfortunately, part of living with a medical condition is either getting it fixed (if possible), or limiting yourself in whatever ways necessary to manage your illness.

P.S. I'm a former smoker who quit about 8 years ago now. Unlike many ex-smokers, I'm not anti-smoking. Although I don't much care for the smell of cigarette smoke any more, I don't feel like everyone else has to make the same choice I did regarding the inhalation of smoke. I still visit my friends who smoke, I still go to places where smokers are allowed. If it were up to me, I wouldn't mind sitting in the smoking section when the nonsmoking section is full. Too bad for me that my g/f doesn't agree on that last point, so I'm stuck waiting. ;)

From what I've read, while living with a smoker is pretty much equivalent to being a smoker, being exposed to smoke on occasion isn't. Many non-smokers get lung cancer from other things, you know.
posted by wierdo at 10:29 AM on December 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


What if I work there?

Stop.
posted by spaltavian at 10:48 AM on December 26, 2006


spaltavian writes "What if I work there?

"Stop."


So employees don't have the right to work in a healthy environment?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:50 AM on December 26, 2006


"So employees don't have the right to work in a healthy environment?"

If you knew there was smoking there when you took the job, and you knew that smoking was bad for you, How could you possibly demand that the smoke be eliminate now for your safety?

It's like a rodeo clown demanding a bull free environment. You knew the job when you took it!!!
posted by Megafly at 10:58 AM on December 26, 2006


All jobs have different levels of risk. If a bar owners allows a legal activity on his property, then that's well within a reasonable level of risk. Very loud music damages hearing, but no one is screaming that rock concerts have to be quite for the sake of the poor venue workers. That's because this is about punishing smokers. Which is fine, except the bar isn't government property.

No one is forced to work in a bar against their will. Get another job.
posted by spaltavian at 10:59 AM on December 26, 2006


*I meant quiet, obviously
posted by spaltavian at 11:00 AM on December 26, 2006


but banning smoking outdoors is just ridiculous. And if you're like many, who feel that way because of the gaggle of smokers surrounding the entrances to buildings, here's a thought, lobby the owner of the building to build a smoking room indoors.

Impossible because I work in a highly protected government building - there will never be smoking allowed indoors. And yes, I hate it when people smoke in front of the doors so I have to hold my breath on the way inside - I'm not sure why that's something I shouldn't be upset about. I'm allergic to cigarette smoke and lungfulls of it do indeed make me sick.

I don't think there's anything ridiculous about banning smoking in public places, including outdoors. I believe that all this fuss over smoking will be over in 10-20 years, when cigarettes will be a delicacy enjoyed by a few.
posted by agregoli at 11:02 AM on December 26, 2006


It's like a rodeo clown demanding a bull free environment. You knew the job when you took it!!!

It's like working in a nuclear materials plant and wanting not to be exposed to deadly amounts of radiation. You knew the job when you took it!!!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:02 AM on December 26, 2006 [2 favorites]


(I don't understand the smoking/bar issue - if private establishments want to have smokers there, that's fine with me - it's a personal choice to work there or go inside).
posted by agregoli at 11:03 AM on December 26, 2006


Peter, I drive a hybrid, and if I could have bought an electric car, I'd have done that. I also walk more often than I drive, and I use 53 cents' worth of electricity per day (which I share with my girlfriend). Yeah, I think I'm walking the walk, so take your smug libertarian talking points back to Reason.

Wierdo, we may differ here, but my belief is that there is no way for a smoker to avoid subjecting me to the by-products of their smoking. Even in a separately-ventilated room, I'm still gonna smell it, and it's still gonna ruin my meal (or whatever else I may be doing). I concede that "bad smell" isn't nearly as legitimate a complaint as "scientifically proven carcinogen," but then, I take a shower after I exercise so that I won't stink up the place. I also try not to fart in public.

As far as pollution goes, it really seems that the libertarian argument here is "Other people pollute the air, so I can too, dammit!" And then they accuse us of whining, after which I assume they stand around not getting the sheer irony of it all.
posted by hifiparasol at 11:56 AM on December 26, 2006


"It's like working in a nuclear materials plant and wanting not to be exposed to deadly amounts of radiation. You knew the job when you took it!!!"

If you knew the plant was dangerous when you took the job? Yes! we agree!
posted by Megafly at 12:01 PM on December 26, 2006


Since the cigarette taxes in my state have dramatically increased, I have been looking into buying them on the black/gray market, which is illegal. Prohibition doesn't work. Raising taxes until your normally law abiding citizens say "fuck it, I'll buy them from the guy in the alley" is counterproductive. But please, politicans and anti-smoking advocates, feel free to ignore reality if it makes you "feel better."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:03 PM on December 26, 2006


Fuck libertarians, okay. There are all kinds of things we decide to do as a society and no one considers public fire departments to be a manifestation of the nanny state.

Guess what, the anti-smoking nazis are coming for your cigarettes. Tobacco has proven to be as big a burden on society as wild fires, polio, and terrorism and I just don't buy that smokers have a right to smoke cheap cigarettes wherever they want. This is all part of an orchestrated effort to convince you people that giving up smoking improves the society we all live in. I say this as a former hard core hopelessly addicted cigarette smoker.

I don't agree with an outright ban for the same reasons I don't agree with an outright ban on other drugs. But taxing and regulation have legitimate, legal purposes. You can take your phony arguments about stamping on your human rights and shove them up your ass because they don't apply here.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:32 PM on December 26, 2006


PeterMcDermott seems about the only one seeing the crux of this clearly: all your arguments about smoking being a choice and bad for public health are easily applied to and far outweighed by the price driving automobiles has on both local and global health. Sure, when I smoked (and I will again.. one day) I might have helped reduce the lifespan of a few babies. But I have not owned a car in almost a decade, instead biking 30 miles to work at times in chicago winter no less, while you drivers helped kill off polar bears, coral reefs, migratory birds and hundreds of thousands of babies (even though I could give a shit about human babies). Smokers are the acceptable outcasts of the current reich and you bastards would tatoo a giant "2" on their foreheads if the right ballot came up, all to feel better about your own vices. This is another tax on the poor. I actually thought texas was above this kind of californianazism. So goes the happy taxing nation, yeee haw.
posted by sarcasman at 2:03 PM on December 26, 2006


I don't agree with an outright ban for the same reasons I don't agree with an outright ban on other drugs. But taxing and regulation have legitimate, legal purposes. You can take your phony arguments about stamping on your human rights and shove them up your ass because they don't apply here.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:32 PM PST on December 26


Would you support a tax that would increase the price of all automobiles by 250% of their purchase price? If not, why not?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:12 PM on December 26, 2006


I actually thought texas was above this kind of californianazism.

You haven't heard about the TABC crackdown on drunk driving? They were (still are?) going into bars and arresting people who looked drunk, because they were potential drunk drivers! Bartenders and waitpersons can be arrested for serving to drunks, too.

Sometimes I wonder if individualism and authoritarianism are sort of complementary, both California and Texas have areas of life wherein they value personal autonomy very highly and others where they suddenly develop blind spots, but they're different areas.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:14 PM on December 26, 2006


Smokers are the acceptable outcasts of the current reich and you bastards would tatoo a giant "2" on their foreheads if the right ballot came up, all to feel better about your own vices.

Huh? Working on one problem does not mean a person is ignorant of, or not working towards solving, another problem.
posted by agregoli at 2:19 PM on December 26, 2006


Working on one problem does not mean a person is ignorant of, or not working towards solving, another problem.

agregoli, I agree. but furthering an economic burden on those (the poor) whose economic situation already contributes to the problem the tax allegedly attempts to decrease shows considerable ignorance of the very problem at hand, and creates a false connection between areas where taxing is appropriate. Gas tax? But that's not a vice!

oh, and my handle should be the salt to serve my comments with. only those with whom I disagree are truly bastards.
posted by sarcasman at 2:41 PM on December 26, 2006


tax the hell out of it, just don't start adding taxes to my booze.
posted by sourbrew at 3:08 PM EST on December 25

Mmm...smells like hypocrisy. People would flip like a circus seal if alcohol prices started doubling due to taxes, and no one would give two shits if it was because of "increased medical bills of lifelong drinkers". Public smoking needs to be civil, and I'm willing to meet you more than half way. Just don't be a damn hypocrite.
posted by AdamOddo at 2:50 PM on December 26, 2006


Guess what, the anti-smoking nazis are coming for your cigarettes. Tobacco has proven to be as big a burden on society as wild fires, polio, and terrorism

only one of which we've actually eliminated ... (if one doesn't count parts of africa)

I just don't buy that smokers have a right to smoke cheap cigarettes wherever they want.

if they can get them, they'll get them ... internet, indian reservations, neighboring states, smugglers, rolling one's own, growing one's own ...

there are always options

tax the hell out of it, just don't start adding taxes to my booze.
posted by sourbrew at 3:08 PM EST on December 25


Mmm...smells like hypocrisy.

generally that's the 2nd thing the sin taxers go after ... usually in my state they target the boozers along with the smokers ...
posted by pyramid termite at 3:15 PM on December 26, 2006


Would you support a tax that would increase the price of all automobiles by 250% of their purchase price? If not, why not?

Within the US, we do have luxury taxes on certain categories of products which are over a certain price (including cars).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:33 PM on December 26, 2006


If you knew the plant was dangerous when you took the job? Yes! we agree!

Are you serious?

Let me know what you do for a living and I'll try to come up with a better example of why that reasoning sucks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:35 PM on December 26, 2006


You guys realize you are trying to use logic on determined smokers right?
posted by srboisvert at 3:43 PM on December 26, 2006


I don't smoke, so perhaps your logic needs a little work.

And fuck you too, Slarty Bartfast.
posted by spaltavian at 4:29 PM on December 26, 2006




Would you support a tax that would increase the price of all automobiles by 250% of their purchase price? If not, why not?


Because there's obviously a difference in the usefulness of automobiles and the usefulness of smoking. Why does every libertarian discussion devolve into this retarded reasoning? Ah yes, because you need to imply large philosophical arguments to problems that beg for common sense.

The equation goes: Benefit to society (relaxation provided by cigarette smoking) divided by Harm to society (premature deaths, cost of medical care). In the case of smoking, there's emerging consensus that the societal harms are greater than the benefits. And again, we are not talking about banning smoking. We are talking about regulating it to mitigate the harmful effects on society.

I agree there is a limit to what's reasonable here. Certainly, prohibition would fail. At some point the problems associated with the black market become an issue. At $5 a pack, I think that's pretty unlikely. If that buys a 25% reduction in smoking rates, and studies suggest it will, it's worth it.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:20 PM on December 26, 2006


that's "apply" large philosophical arguments...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:23 PM on December 26, 2006


Would you support a tax that would increase the price of all automobiles by 250% of their purchase price?

You're not asking me, but: totally, if for entirely different reasons than I'm OK with taxes on tobacco (provided the tobacco tax money goes to health care for all, and all the automobile tax money goes to alternative energy research and deployment).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:50 PM on December 26, 2006


You guys realize you are trying to use logic on determined smokers right?
posted by srboisvert at 5:43 PM CST on December 26


The only rational comment in the whole thread.

Please remember, dear reader, that smokers are both PHYSICALLY and PSYCHOLOGICALLY *ADDICTED* to nicotine and cigarette smoking.

So yes, to them, it is "just like" taxing cars 200%, or something you would get another job over, or something you should be willing to take up arms or participate in illegal activity over.

Interesting to see really.

I'm just surprised there aren't any "You can have my cigs when you pry them from my cold, dead hands". Because, well, that's kinda scary.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:44 AM on December 27, 2006


So yes, to them, it is "just like" taxing cars 200%, or something you would get another job over, or something you should be willing to take up arms or participate in illegal activity over.

that last part's not just rhetoric ... people are smuggling cigarettes like you wouldn't believe in michigan
posted by pyramid termite at 9:43 AM on December 27, 2006


Taxing gasoline 250% would be a good idea. Or a hefty congestion charge on driving in cities.

Wait, these things already happen, just not in the United States.

(I don't know how high the taxes on gas/petrol in the UK or Canada are, but the prices are far higher than in the US.)
posted by jb at 4:19 PM on December 27, 2006


I'm sure people with peanut allergies look forward to the day that nobody eats peanuts, and on and on.

Umm, I think it's more like looking forward to the day that nobody chews up peanuts and spits them into their mouths.

As for this tax? Shrug. Call me when they start taxing violent video games. Now THAT is something I can get up in arms about!
posted by antifuse at 7:17 AM on January 2, 2007


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