Every fifth cigarette lit in Germany is smuggled. This unsurprising fact comes from the former East Germany, where cigarettes are not criminally taxed as a “therapeutic” offset.
That causes a loss of over 8,000 Euros per minute (that is, 12 million Euros per day) to the General German revenue.
Marianne Tritz, director of the German association of tobacco manufacturers, attributes the cause of the problem to the current antismoking hysteria. Contraband was basically a moot issue in Germany before the beginning of the antismoking fervour and smoking bans, that kick-started the current wave of contraband. She says that the quality of contraband cigarettes is sub-standard, and that those cigarettes can indeed cause problems for health aside from damaging the economy and endangering employment.
Around 23 billion cigarettes per year are smoked in Germany without the government seeing one cent. According to German Customs, the joy of smoking needs security and awareness, not prohibition and discrimination.
Indeed it does. But logic – and economics – are antithetical to a deranged ideology that puts no limits to its insane goals. As happened during the First Prohibition with Moonshine made in bath tubs, the Second Prohibition jacks up the “therapeutic” price of an extremely inexpensive good up to criminal levels, and makes the consumer decide to take the risk rather than pay the money.
Can we blame smokers for buying smuggled cigarettes? Certainly not – and they are already paying the price with the extra risk for their health. The one and only guilty party is Tobacco Control. Tobacco Control is immoral and it is crime. It must be punished.