Only Obeying Orders

From Velvet Glove Iron Fist:

According to the Guardian…

Ministers are to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes along the Australian model with legislation this year, after becoming convinced that the branding is a key factor in why young people start to smoke.

The legislation, to be announced in the Queen’s speech in May, is also expected to ban smoking in cars carrying anyone aged under 16 years.

I’m not in the least bit surprised. It’s what I expected all along. Nothing else was ever going to happen.

First you float some ‘proposal’ in the mass media. Then you say you’re going to have a ‘consultation’. And then, in your ‘consultation’, you ignore everybody who doesn’t like the proposal, because it’s barking mad. Then, after you’ve completed your ‘consultation’, you announce that you’ve become convinced it’s a good proposal. Then you enact it as law. And then you move on to your next ‘proposal’, if you haven’t announced a whole series of other barking mad proposals already.

Of course there’s going to be plain packaging (which won’t be in the least bit ‘plain’, but covered in obscene images of dead people). It was decided a long time ago, maybe by the WHO, or maybe the EU, or maybe Al Qaeda, or maybe Mr Vaclav Rumpelstiltskin of Honolulu Crescent, Geneva. Or his dog. It doesn’t matter. The British government is just obeying orders. It doesn’t really matter where the orders are coming from. All that matters is that it isn’t the British people who are giving the orders. It’s somebody else.

And not only will there be plain packaging, but there’ll also be bans on smoking in cars with small children in them. And after that bans on smoking in cars with large children (aka adults) in them. And there will be creeping outdoor smoking bans too. First 5 metres outside public buildings, and then 200 metres, and then 40 km.

No need for home smoking bans, because when smoking has been banned within 500 km of public buildings, anyone who lights up in their own home anywhere in Britain will be smoking within a prohibited distance of a public building.

And there’ll also be minimum pricing of alcohol too. And the minimum price will go up every other week. Once you’ve heard what the latest ‘proposal’ is, you can be sure that within a few months or years it’s going to be the law of the land. That’s how it works these days.

Yes, I know there’s supposed to have been a revolt in the cabinet against minimum pricing. So what? They’ll just have to keep replacing the cabinet until they get one that agrees to it. A bit like Ireland had to keep having referendums on the EU until they got the right answer.

And if you have a Prime Minister who gets the answers wrong? You get rid of him too. You replace him (e.g. Silvio Berlusconi) with a wind-up Mario Monti, pre-programmed with the right answers. And if the wrong Prime Minister bounces back in subsequent elections? You send him to prison, of course.

Silvio Berlusconi jailed for a YEAR in Italy for leaking secret phone call about banking scandal

Yes, you can vote for and elect members of parliament. And they can have debates, and vote through new legislation. One of them can even be the Prime Minister, if they really want to, and shake the hands of visiting dignitaries. But they must all obey orders. And if they don’t, they’ll be sent to prison.

And the same applies to David Cameron and Nick Clegg. They must obey orders too. And if they don’t, something very nasty will happen to them. They’ll be found to be child molesters, just like Jimmy Savile. Or worse.

I have no idea who gives the orders. And I don’t really care. All I know is that it isn’t the British people in Britain. Or the Italian people in Italy. Or the Spanish people in Spain. And that’s all that matters.

We retain the appearances of democracy, of course. We still elect MPs, and they still debate in parliament. And we still have a Prime Minister, and a cabinet. And the cabinet can even revolt if it wants to. But none of them have any real power. These institutions are all just retained for the sake of appearances, a bit like we still have a monarch who’s got a crown and a throne, but no real power either. The real power lies elsewhere. No, don’t ask me where.

It’s getting interesting in Italy. 25% of Italians voted for a clown, who is now refusing to make any alliances with any other party. And another 25% went and voted for the wrong Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, again. The Italians look like they’re set to be the new Irish, and will have to keep voting until they get the right answer, which is of course, as all right-minded people know, more austerity (and probably plain packaging of tobacco and minimum alcohol pricing as well). It doesn’t end there either:

Italy’s Pier Luigi Bersani vowed to break free of the country’s austerity regime as he laid out plans for a centre-Left government, risking a serious clash with Germany and the European Central Bank.

“We must leave the austerity cage,” he told leaders of his Democrat Party (Pd), responding to Italy’s electoral earthquake by tearing up his pre-election programme

“A change of course is absolutely necessary given that five years of austerity and attacks on workers have pushed up public debt levels across Europe,” he said.

“The vicious circle between belt-tightening and recession is putting representative government at risk and making it impossible to govern. The immediate emergency is the real economy and joblessness,” he said.

He tore up his pre-election programme, did he? Naughty! So now Italy has a clown, a jailbird, and a liar representing them.

No probs. They’ll just have to find another Mario Monti, and parachute him into the Prime Minister’s job. Or maybe just recycle the old one.

But it makes a lot of sense to elect a clown, once democracy has become a joke. Perhaps the idea will spread throughout Europe, and there’ll be clowns and comedians elected in France and Spain and even Britain. Maybe we could have Rowan Atkinson as our Prime Minister, in his Mr Bean role. Or John Cleese playing Basil Fawlty.

Just so long as they obey orders, of course.

And introduce plain packaging. And minimum alcohol pricing. And smoking prohibitions within 20 km of any public building. And windmills. Lots of windmills. The kind that kill off millions of bats, before spectacularly catching fire. And extra dim lightbulbs. ‘Progressive’, ‘cutting edge’ extra dim lightbulbs.

Because, as all right-minded people know, these are the things that really matter.

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About Frank Davis

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52 Responses to Only Obeying Orders

  1. mandy vincent says:

    I was looking the infowars with Lord Monckton and agenda 21, scary as hell, unelected clowns and unaccountable, at least I know where the lilly by lamplight crap bulbs came from.

  2. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/03/05/pol-contraband-tobacco-mandatory-minimums.html

    It’s always fun watching them contradict themselves, isn’t it? Over in Canada at the moment they’re all upset about tobacco smuggling. Of course they drag out the children for sympathy, but they run into a bit of a problem as I pointed out in this comment:

    ===

    So the Health Minister said, “Baggies of cheap, illegal tobacco can make it easier for children and teens to get cigarettes into their hands and start smoking,”

    That’s strange. I thought they’d just finished telling us how the best way to stop “the children” from smoking was to put cigarettes into “plain packs” so the pretty colors and fancy logos wouldn’t seduce them into smoking.

    But now they’re saying that putting cigarettes into baggies will make them smoke?

    Maybe if the cigarettes were taxed fairly and thereby the smuggling and crime profits disappeared, the cigarettes would be sold in stores again where age regulations would be enforced.

    But I guess that sort of thinking is too simple, eh?

    ===

    You can see the same sort of disassociative thinking with regard to smoking in cars with kids. In statement after statement, post after post, you see complaints starting with, “When I was a child I had to endure being trapped in a car …. ” with horrible tales of choking fumes that made them hate smoking forever. But wait… I thought they WANTED the kidlings to hate smoking forever? Here they’ve got an obvious way to ensure it: simply pass laws saying that smokers are FORCED to smoke in cars whenever there are kids present! The kids will detest it so much they’ll never grow up and smoke themselves! Meanwhile, the government not only saves geriatric-care health money on the poor parents forced to do all that extra smoking, they also collect extra cigarette taxes AND save money they would have had to spend on antismoking programs for the kids! It’s a Win-Win-Win situation!

    So which is it? Plain packs or baggies? Make kids hate smoking or let them love it? Just *what* do the Antismokers want???

    – MJM

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Mike up in Ottawa about 2 years ago there was a story about how many contraband cigarettes were being smoked by employees of the Canadian Supreme court! Seems the Nazis found the employee smoking spot out behind the court building and started collecting discarded butts and voila! lmao

    • Barry Homan says:

      What do anti-smokers want? They want attention above all. They want to get invited to parties, but no hope. They want to be able to mingle with the in-crowds, but don’t have the social talents or awareness. They want to get elected and get some kind of agenda going, get the spotlight on them – especially if they got strange last names no-one can pronounce, often hyphenated ones like Salele-Crimbloenz or Kradsche-Wiedock, or just plain Banzhaf.

      The anti passes you on the street and coughs, just so you’ll turn your head and look at them – that’s it. It’s their pathetic little feel-good fix for the day, their little attention-getter. Deep down these are socially insecure people, this is one way they get someone’s attention – otherwise they’ll continually be ignored, from one day to the next, most of their lives.

      The anti will support the crusade until his dying breath, because he knows it’s about all he’s got; it’s also his means of clinging to some false delusion of superiority, to make up for his many other inadequacies – and it doesn’t cost him anything! He gets it for free.

      Health? It’s not about health. For the anti, it all serves to give his lonely, drab life a teeny bit of meaning.

    • garyk30 says:

      Ah, delightfull.

      Mike, you will have them chasing in circles trying to bite their own asses.

      They never look at both sides of an issue.

      You will have the antis huffing, puffing, and blubbering spit over their chins in frustration.

      I love it!!!!!!

  3. beobrigitte says:

    And if you have a Prime Minister who gets the answers wrong? You get rid of him too. You replace him (e.g. Silvio Berlusconi) with a wind-up Mario Monti, pre-programmed with the right answers. And if the wrong Prime Minister bounces back in subsequent elections? You send him to prison, of course.

    Silvio Berlusconi jailed for a YEAR in Italy for leaking secret phone call about banking scandal

    Wasn’t he jailed for having sex with underage girls? I’m pretty sure that’s what the BBC peddled 2 days ago. Can’t find the BBC news link about it, though.

    Unfortunately he has made it easy to become embroiled in sex scandals/corruption accusations.

    We retain the appearances of democracy, of course. We still elect MPs, and they still debate in parliament. And we still have a Prime Minister, and a cabinet.

    These debates are becoming tiresome. Who wants to listen to little kids arguing?
    Labour is now jumping onto the UKIP bandwagon with respect to immigration whilst Cameron insists that immigration is high on the Tory agenda. The Lib/Dems express “concern” but haven’t said much that is new.

    I am waiting for Labour/Tories/Libdems to jump on UKIP’s bandwagon with respect to this tiresome bombardment from the healthists; e.g. smoking ban.
    Only yesterday the BBC announced the results of a “study” concerning “processed” meat intake. (Naturally, smoking had to be mentioned: “people who eat a lot of processed meat are likely to be smokers and they live “unhealthily” and are dying “prematurely”… )

    The BBC in the last few days:
    “People already are living longer”
    Really? HOW?
    “Alzheimer/Dementia cases up by 137%”
    Well, this “living longer” seems to have an undesirable aspect. Perhaps we could tear up this inhumane FCTC and re-direct the funds wasted on smoker hate campaigns to this cause. I shudder to think about the prospects of being kept alive in one of the state run “god’s waiting rooms”, where it is likely that asking for an ash tray would land you being pinned down by a 6 foot bloke whilst having to listen to a lecture of “smoking kills”.

    A great “healthy” society then.

  4. Rose says:

    Frank

    Of course there’s going to be plain packaging (which won’t be in the least bit ‘plain’, but covered in obscene images of dead people). It was decided a long time ago, maybe by the WHO,..”

    No need for speculation, the FCTC is perfectly open about such things, it’s only our politicians that muddy the waters in attempting an illusion of democracy.

    2007 November 27-29
    “First meeting of the working group for development of guidelines on implementation of Article 13 (Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship)”
    http://www.fctc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7&Itemid=8

    Article 13
    including

    16. Plain packaging.

    “The effect of advertising or promotion on packaging can be eliminated by requiring plain packaging:

    black and white or two contrasting colours,

    as prescribed by national authorities: nothing other than a brand name and/or manufacturer’s name, contact details and the quantity of the product in the packaging,

    without any logos or other features apart from health warnings, tax stamps and other government mandated information or markings: prescribed font style and size: and standardized shape, size and materials.

    There should be no advertising or promotion inside or attached to the package or on individual cigarettes or other tobacco products”
    http://www.who.int/fctc/guidelines/article_13.pdf

    The only things that governments have to decide is which background colour to use and when to implement the change.
    Which doubtless makes those involved feel very important and occupies them for months with lots of exciting meetings and the possibility of several foreign trips at taxpayers expense.

    I daresay we could all agree a colour and a date within an afternoon at most, allowing for debate.

    I vote a dull mustard, that’s most offputting.

  5. garyk30 says:

    “god’s waiting rooms”

    That god has no compassion!

  6. wobbler2012 says:

    “I have no idea who gives the orders. And I don’t really care. All I know is that it isn’t the British people in Britain. Or the Italian people in Italy. Or the Spanish people in Spain. And that’s all that matters.”

    Might be worth asking David Icke for the answer to that one mate. ;-)

  7. garyk30 says:

    It is all for naught and will have zero health effects.

    General idea is this.

    Average non-smoker will breathe about 330ng of Arsenic per day, that is equal to smoking about 69 cigarettes per day.

    Average non-smoker will breathe enough CO per day to equal smoking about 81 cigarettes per day.

    Average non-smoker will breathe enough Formaldehyde per day to equal smoking about 1.2 cigarettes per day.

    Average non-smoker will breathe enough Toluene per day to equal smoking about 16 cigarettes per day.

    The list goes on.
    Here is a list of 33 of the 188 toxic pollutants the EPA has found will be in CLEAN smoke free, air.

    Some you may recognize as being in cigarette smoke and there are some that are not found in cigarette smoke.

    http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/nata/mapconc.html

    Acetaldehyde-Acrolein-Acrylonitrile-Arsenic Compounds-Benzene-Beryllium Compounds-1,3-Butadiene-Cadmium Compounds-Carbon tetrachloride-Chloroform-Chromium Compounds-Coke Oven Emissions- 1,3-Dichloropropene-Diesel Particulate Matter-Ethylene dibromide-Ethylene dichloride-Ethylene oxide-Formaldehyde-Hexachlorobenzene- Hydrazine-Lead Compounds-Manganese Compounds-Mercury Compounds-Methylene chloride-Nickel Compounds-Perchloroethylene-Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)-Polycyclic Organic Matter (POM)-Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (7-PAH)-Propylene dichloride-Quinoline-1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane- Trichloroethylene-Vinyl chloride.

    Perhaps, that is why Doll’s doctors study found that; while 85% of smokers’ deaths were from the smoking ’caused’ diseases, 85% of the ex-smokers deaths were from those same diseases.

    84% of the never-smokers’ deaths were from those same diseases.

    E-cigs,totally quitting, or never having smoked will make no difference.

    Everyone has about the same probability of dying from a disease ’caused’ by smoking.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Gary the above shows us simply that the Nazis took OLD AGE diseases and renamed them ”SMOKING RELATED”!

    • Marie Cooper says:

      “Everyone has about the same probability of dying from a disease ’caused’ by smoking.”

      This was always going to be where they hit the wall. They have pinned their colours to the mast and said that X,Y or Z cause of death is due to smoking and that getting rid of smoking will reduce or eliminate said disease. They get away with this because governments around the world are terrified of the costs of dealing with ill health. The fact that none or very few of these diseases occur uniquely in smokers was neither here nor there. The invention of the second hand smoke myth was designed to hide the flaw in their arguments and for a period it has done so, but and it is a big but, we now have a situation where people who do not smoke are also not exposed to smoke from people who do. The deaths and diseases are not going away. Lung cancer rates are increasing and whilst fewer people die of their first cardiac incident more people are being admitted to hospital with their first cardiac incident.
      None of the proposed health benefits of anti smoking campaigns and smoking restrictions have materialised.
      You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
      The vastly exaggerated claims of the anti smokers will be their undoing. Sit back and watch the show, we are approaching the crunch point and it will be very entertaining. Not pleasant, but entertaining.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        We all helped in their faster demise……I think mankind can put much appreciation for the internet aiding in that battle. Without it the war may well have raged on for decades more. Its no wonder the Nazis across the world want to silence the internet.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    MEPs to vote on EU ‘ban on all forms of pornography’
    MEPs will next week vote on a “ban on all forms of pornography” including censorship of the internet in a bid to “eliminate gender stereotypes” that demean women.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9917189/MEPs-to-vote-on-EU-ban-on-all-forms-of-pornography.html

    Controversy has erupted over next Tuesday’s European Parliament resolution “on eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU”, meant to mark international women’s day, after libertarian Swedish MEPs from the Pirate Party spotted the call for a ban in the small print.

    While not legally binding, the vote could be the first step towards European legislation as the EU’s assembly increasingly flexes its political muscle within Europe’s institutions.

    The proposal “calls on the EU and its member states to take concrete action on discrimination against women in advertising… [with] a ban on all forms of pornography in the media”.

    Kartika Liotard, a Dutch left-wing feminist MEP, is seeking “statutory measures to prevent any form of pornography in the media and in advertising and for a ban on advertising for pornographic products and sex tourism”, including measures in the “digital field”.

    The MEPs are also demanding the establishment of state sex censors with “a mandate to impose effective sanctions on companies and individuals promoting the sexualisation of girls”.

  9. garyk30 says:

    I, sort of, ‘time traveled’ yesterday.

    Had a Skype video ‘smoky-drinky’ with Nisakiman yesterday PM.
    Welll, my yesterday PM; but, it was his early AM today.

    Was great! Two older men, sitting face to face, drinking red wine and smoking and cussing those that would take our ‘Freedoms and Liberties’.

    But; since it was 5PM Thurs for me and 1AM Fri for him, ina way, I was seeing and talking with someone in the future.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Good beer,wine,whiskey and a smoke can make anything possible,even regained freedom stolen by the craddle to grave crowd!

    • Love the image of them biting their own butts! :>

      Re: “But; since it was 5PM Thurs for me and 1AM Fri for him, ina way, I was seeing and talking with someone in the future.”

      Sometimes when we have TICAP or FORCES Skype meetings we’ll have people spreading from mainland Europe all the way over to Hawaii! People at the tail-end of their smoky-drinky night and others heating up their morning coffee!

      :>
      Michael

      • garyk30 says:

        Get yourself a webcam. :)

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          I got a better idea,lets take over a whole state and have a smokers utopia.

        • garyk30 says:

          I have a premium account.

          No matter where they are, get up to 10 people together on the same group video call.

          It’s great for regular family catch ups or to hold business meetings with anyone worldwide.

          To use group video calls, at least one person on the call will need to have a Premium account.
          …………………………………
          Harley,
          I have heard they are trying to do something like that in NH.

        • garyk30 says:

          I have set up a ‘Smokers Group’ for video conference calls on my Skype account.

          It will accadomate 9 other people.

          Anyone that has a Skype account and webcam is welcome to be added.

          Let me know your Skype name so that I can invite you to be one of my contacts and then I can add as many of you to the group as possibe.

          If there is a lot of interest, I will just form another group!

          A Skype basic account is free, just like Facebook.

        • Gary, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe folks can join in without a webcam as well. FORCES and TICAP have both used SKYPE calls extensively over the last few years for our meetings and we’re always open to having new blood join in!

          :)
          MJM

        • Frank Davis says:

          I must dig out my Skype details!

          Wiel is on Skype too.

        • garyk30 says:

          “accadomate” = hold/contain/accept

          You know, I read that thing twice before posting.
          But, we do tend to see what we expect to see. :(

        • garyk30 says:

          MJM,
          True, you do not need a webcam.
          But, in a way, the idea is to create a smokey-drinky.

          You would not have as much fun if the visual effect was missing.
          My idea is to have a bullshit gathering, not to have a business meeting.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Hey, a skype smoking-social session is not a bad idea! (It’ll be fun to watch the Americans make their breakfast coffee and have their first cigarette of the day whilst we ‘over here’ enjoy a nice beer and a few last cigarettes before we go to bed.

          Our own SMOKING pub. Count me in!!!!

          Btw, we’ll ALL need a premium account. It’s quickly sorted, though!

    • nisakiman says:

      Heh! Yes, I like the idea of a bullshit meeting Gary! That was basically what we had last night. Just a couple of old codgers having a good moan about the state of the world today over a drink and a smoke. Just like being down the pub! Except with ashtrays! :)

      • nisakiman says:

        And yes, I agree about the cam – it really adds something. Otherwise it’s just like a phone call. And cams are not an expensive addition to the system. I like the idea of the smoker’s group. It could be quite a wheeze getting a few of us together for a boozy, smoky chinwag.

  10. garyk30 says:

    The FDA, and Public Health in general, are tasked with protecting people from hazards that people can not be aware of, that are hidden.

    There are no ‘hidden’ hazards to smoking cigarettes, drinking booze, eating food dripping with fat, or eating pastry with a ton of sugar toppings.

    FDA regulations will not remove ‘hidden’ hazards; because, there are none!!

    About 80% of the ‘dust’ in restaurants is dead, decaying human skin cells that will settle on the diners’ food and that they will inhale into their lungs.

    It is not healthy to inhale or consume decaying flesh.

    What is Public Health doing about this mostly unknown hazard?

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      They will just mandate daily bathing! Pricks………..Saturday is bath day!

      • garyk30 says:

        Harley,
        I(LMAO) nominate you for the job of inspecting fat old ladies to make certain their skin has the proper degree of cleanliness!!!

        That’s what friends are for,right?

        Be sure you(LMAO) check between the cheeks of their hind ends!!

  11. Gary, you wrote, “It is not healthy to inhale or consume decaying flesh. What is Public Health doing about this mostly unknown hazard?”

    Actually, there *IS* something constructive they could do. They could greatly reduce this problem simply by passing a regulation mandating that all restaurants allow smoking. Obviously, given the number of people out there today who object to the smell of smoke, restaurants would then be forced to install decent ventilation and air-filtration systems in order to keep their customers. The problem with passive cannibalism would be solved, particularly since the HCPs (Human Corpus Particulates) tend to be even larger and more easily captured by such systems than tobacco smoke!

    Of course there are some freakozoids out there who get off on chomping down on bits of dead human flesh. They’ll push to keep smoking bans in place of course, but most healthy and normal people will join in the demand for a change in the laws.

    Can we get a grant for this?

    :?
    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains” (And no, Hannibal, it’s not a cookbook!)

    • garyk30 says:

      Can we get a grant for this?

      I think that we would need at least $50 million to do the study correctly. :)

      • nisakiman says:

        50 mill would be enough to get us started; certainly enough to produce an interim report ending in “But more research is needed”. That’s how tobacco control do it, and it works like a charm for them.

        • beobrigitte says:

          “But more research is needed”. That’s how tobacco control do it, and it works like a charm for them.

          By the looks of it it wouldn’t be too difficult to get a good research team together. And our conclusion will not end in “more research is needed…”
          Will Bill Gates sponsor us? After all, we would like to find out AND TELL the TRUTH!!!

  12. “They will just mandate daily bathing! Pricks………..Saturday is bath day!”

    Sorry. Not allowed. Chlorine degrades to chloroform, a carcinogen, and you have no right to give other people in your building cancer just because you’ve got some sort of weird-ass cleanliness fetish.

    If you *MUST* shower, simply wait until it’s raining or snowing outside, and then pop out for a few minutes with a bar of granola soap.

    What’s the big deal?

    – MJM

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Customs officers seize 30 MILLION cigarettes in shipment supposed to contain wind turbines

    Cigarettes believed to be counterfeits from China
    Border Force officers discovered shipment at Southampton Container Port
    Smugglers had been trying to avoid more than £8m in taxes and duty

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2289745/Customs-officers-seize-30-MILLION-cigarettes-shipment-supposed-contain-wind-turbines.html#ixzz2MysDqFvk

    • smokingscot says:

      Interesting link Harley. Dick Puddlecote’s running a frisk on the issue of illegals being something dreamed up by big tobacco (so say ASH) and this helps flatten that arguement.

      L & B is owned by Imperial tobacco and they’re the company most hit by these, because they’re relatively small and their Golden Virginia rolling tobacco is another they target. That said Pall Mall and Regal are big favourites of these smugglers.

      Trick is to get them inserted into the supply chain, then they sell for close to 7 quid a pack.

      The budget’s due in less than 2 weeks and my expectation is something like an 8 to 10% increase in prices, putting these packs up to $13!!

      But do please bear in mind that this is only one confiscation. They come in every day at all ports and airports, though few will be prepared to admit that shipments of this size involve a large amount of money and (this is where they cocked-up) a lot of people.

      Somewhere in China, someone’s going to pay for this!

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    igarette smuggling increases in Michigan

    by Taylor Knopf on March 7, 2013
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    In a recent study released by The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, researchers Michael LaFaive and Todd Nesbit concluded that in 2011, 29.3 percent of cigarettes smoked in Michigan were smuggled in.

    This is a 12.7 percent increase from their previous study in 2009. Michigan remained ranked 10th in the nation for net import of smuggled cigarettes. New York holds the top spot with approximately 60 percent of consumed cigarettes being smuggled in and has the highest tax of $4.35 per pack. Since the 1950s, Michigan cigarette taxes have risen from five cents a pack to $2. To combat the tax raises, many area smokers have resorted to buying cigarettes across the border from states with a lesser taxes, such as Indiana, according to LaFaive and Nesbit.

    While much of the smuggling is classified in the “casual” category for personal consumption, there is a great amount of commercial smuggling which led to an increase in criminal activity and violent crimes, according to the report. Many people, including law officers, have been killed in cigarette smuggling incidents, LaFaive said. There even have been police and prison guards involved in the smuggling business, LaFaive said.

    Lawmakers believe that they are going to reduce the amount of smoking with higher taxes, he said.

    “Too many politicians will point to a decline in cigarette sales in their states and say, ‘See, it’s working,’” LaFaive said. “But the consumption is not declining, people are simply getting their nicotine elsewhere. They are smuggling.”

    It’s “prohibition by price” said LaFaive. There are strong parallels between this and Prohibition in 1920. The sale of “loosies”—individually sold cigarettes—to the single shots of whiskey men would sell outside factories during shift changes in the ’20s, compares, LaFaive said.

    It can be a lucrative business. In the 1970s the Pentagon was embarrassed by the number of cigarettes sold to their airmen on Air Force bases, said LaFaive. The Pentagon didn’t realize airmen were buying and reselling. Even today, smokers do not necessarily need to cross borders to buy less expensive cigarettes. They can also go to a nearby Native American reservation or military base.

    “While it’s definitely easier to be a casual smuggler in Kalamazoo or Hillsdale,” LaFaive said, “avenues exist whether you’re in the center of the state or not.”

    The “substitution effect,” LaFaive said, is as real an issue now as it was during the Prohibition. Just as the substitute product was more potent and dangerous to health then, the hand-rolled cigarettes are more of a health hazard because people can decide not to use a filter.

    Senior Josh Koczman started rolling his own cigarettes a few years ago and teaches others to do it as well.

    “When I first started smoking, I smoked the Clove cigarettes and switched to American Spirits and then to Camels,” Koczman said. “And I eventually just realized it was much cheaper, and I like the taste better of the unfiltered, hand-rolled ones, so I switched to those.”

    Junior Ethan Showler learned to roll cigarettes from Koczman and said he likes the aesthetic of rolling them himself.

    “There is a little bit of control, you can roll them tighter or looser to give you a faster or shorter smoke,” Showler said. “It’s also really cheap and good quality tobacco. You’re talking 30 bucks for a tin that lasts you two or three weeks, so it’s like a fourth of the price [of cigarette packs.]”

    Koczman said that he and his friends use to order Lucky Strike cigarettes by the carton from Ukraine online. They averaged approximately $2. He stopped ordering them abroad when Michigan stopped allowing imported cigarettes.

    LaFaive said people are still importing them from foreign countries regardless of statutory changes. He holds to the opinion that lawmakers should establish a reasonable average cigarette tax for the Midwest to reduce the negative effects of high taxes.

    “But politicians are as addicted to cigarette tax revenue as the people are addicted to nicotine,” he said.

    LaFaive doesn’t know what it will take for lawmakers to cut back the taxes, but he said they will reach a point where something needs to happen.

    “There is also a liberty question here. Thank you for caring about my health, but I’m adult. And people like risks in their lives,” he said. “I don’t like a sanctimonious finger pointed at me by politicians. It seems very nanny-ish.” tknopf@hillsdale.edu (155)

    http://www.hillsdalecollegian.com/2013/03/cigarette-smuggling-increases-in-michigan/

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