The Contraband Edge
Author: Søren Højbjerg
Article Published: 2011/07/25
The current wave of antismoking is an old game. Every now and then, antismoking surfaces from the dustbin of history. It swoops about causing disputes in society. Eventually it turns out to be a fiasco. So it is buried. For a time there is peace. Then the war begins again. And make no mistake about it. Antismoking is war, pure and simple.
In war only one thing matters – victory. One victorious strategy in war is to cultivate a strong edge. Then present your strong edge to the enemy. Keep presenting your strong edge to the enemy. This assures victory. This is a simple truth of war.
In the repeating antismoking wars, the smokers have always had one very strong edge. It always works. It never fails. It is the way to victory.
The expression contraband means 'against a ban'. Contraband in this context means to avoid tobacco taxes. Contraband tobacco is a simple way of avoiding the goverments extortion of smokers. Trade in contraband tobacco sends an unequivocal signal to those in power, that the smokers are unsatisfied. No debate. No mincing of words. Just contraband. Action at work.
Contraband tobacco is a double whammy. Not only does it deny the goverment money, it also tells those in power that smokers don't give a damn about arcane laws. This is something that governments do not like. And they know that they can't beat contraband. So they have to back down. It always works.
Today millions of smokers have taken to purchasing contraband. There are many ways of purchasing contraband tobacco. One easy way, is to cross the border to a state with lower cigarette taxes, purchase tobacco for private consumption, and return home with the tobacco. Another way is to contact the people who trade in illicit substances, and purchase smuggled tobacco from them. Of course, it is even possible to purchase tobacco that is manufactured entirely in the context of the black market. Or grow your own.
Whatever source, contraband is the way to victory. It is the power of the marketplace. Contraband is the edge smokers have over their enemies. Smokers are using it.
From time to time, I hear smokers complaining about how one sided the media is in presenting smoking. Actually, every now and then, a squeak from the smokers reaches the media. So the masses know that there is opposition. However, to be quite frank, the media belongs to antismoking. And antismoking is the enemy of the smoker – make no mistake about it.
Currently the media is the strong edge of antismoking. In the future it will be different. But for now, the media belongs to antismoking. The smokers can only use the media to point out that there is opposition to antismoking. This is nothing but pinpricking. That is all that can be achieved in the media for now.
Smokers are back to basics, applying the power of the marketplace. Smokers are presenting their strong edge in the antismoking war. Their strongest edge is contraband. Smokers are using it, and it works magic.