We present another in our series of news highlights with a quiz on the final item.
1.) The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and ancillary enforcement agencies have once again become a collection of Keystone Kops. Contraband cigarettes accounted for nearly half the Canadian market in the 1990s before taxes were lowered. Then they raised the taxes again, and this time, officials say they’ll keep ‘em sky high come Hell or high water. We say to Hell with the officials. With bootlegging back in full sway the “legitimate” tobacco industry’s estimate, quoted in the linked article, that one in five cigarettes now sold is contraband, seems like wishful thinking on their part. At any rate we know no Canadians foolish enough to pay upwards of a hundred bucks for a carton of ciggies but we do know where you can get them, and always have and always will be able to get them, for less than half the “bargain” price of twenty bucks mentioned in the article. Good deal, eh? (Article) (stored)
2.) The US State of Massachusetts has long had high cig taxes and all the concomitant smuggling too. Bay State legislators also wish to compound the problem with another tax hike. To Hell with them as well. One small surprise here is that a critical article has appeared in the stridently goose-stepping Boston Globe. (Article) (stored)
3.) Ohio’s Carrie Nations have received some sound financial slaps lately (yay!) from a state government grown tired with their zealotry. In the meantime the state’s smoking ban is meeting with increasing ridicule and defiance. This article includes an amusingly typical case of a Healthist, Health Department supervisor Terry Tuttle, talking out of both sides of his mouth. To reinforce the party line that smoking bans are universally beloved, Tuttle insists that the vast majority of establishments comply: “You’re talking two or three places out of thousands that are noncompliant,” but he says in the next breath regarding the tremendous burden of ban enforcement, “It’s been costly, I can tell you that. … We’ve been given the task … It’s up to us to do the best we can with the funding we have. I sure wish we had more funding, though. Exclamation point.” We’re sure greedy Reichsführer Tuttle will just keep following orders despite what bar owners like Bill McFrye have to say: “McFrye said he asks people not to smoke inside Corky’s, but he can’t bring himself to force longtime customers, especially elderly ones, to smoke outside, especially in bad weather. He can’t stand to see smokers persecuted, comparing their plight to that of the Jews in Nazi Germany and the African-Americans in the segregated South of the 1950s.” (Article) (stored)
4.) Now to the quiz. The Antitobacco Reich recently held a conference in Australia to discuss taxation generally and Tobacco Control strategies specifically. One of the following strategies (a direct quote from our fourth news article here) was included. Can you guess which?
a.) A requirement that smokers register with the local Health Department for a fee.
b.) A requirement that smokers be tattooed for a fee.
c.) A ban on smoking on even-numbered dates.
d.) A ban on smoking within sight of anyone under 18.
e.) A tripling of income tax on smokers detected via cotinine blood test.
f.) Sexual sterilization of prisoners caught smoking in jail.
g.) Sexual sterilization of mental patients caught smoking in institutions.
h.) Sexual sterilization of all smokers.
i.) A goal of total tobacco prohibition by 2010.
j.) A goal of total tobacco prohibition by 2020.
k.) A requirement that smokers be denied all government employment.
l.) A requirement that smokers be denied all but part-time employment.
m.) A requirement that smokers be denied all employment.
n.) A ban on smokers from entire districts of cities by 2010.
o.) A ban on smokers from cities wholly designated “smoke-free” by 2020.
p.) A ban on smokers born after 2020.
q.) Mandated public press reports on smoking ban scofflaws.
r.) Loss of voting rights to anyone convicted of tobacco-related crimes.
s.) Increased taxation of unfiltered cigarettes.
t.) Increased taxation of reduced tar and nicotine cigarettes.
u.) Denial of professional practice licenses to smokers.
v.) Denial of drivers’ licenses to smokers.
w.) A doubling of tobacco taxes every ten years.
x.) A doubling of tobacco taxes every year until 2020.
y.) Public hanging of smoking ban scofflaws.
z.) Public sexual sterilization of smoking ban scofflaws.