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NYC sues roll-your-own cigarette shops over taxes

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November 21, 2011 4:24:46 PM

NYC sues roll-your-own cigarette shops over taxes
Quote:
There is no place in the U.S. more expensive to smoke than New York City, where the taxes alone will set you back $5.85 per pack. Yet, addicts who visit Island Smokes, a "roll-your-own" cigarette shop in Chinatown, can walk out with an entire 10-pack carton for under $40, thanks to a yawning tax loophole that officials in several states are now trying to close...The store is one of a growing number around the country that have come under fire over their use of high-speed cigarette rolling machines that function as miniature factories, and can package loose tobacco and rolling papers into neatly formed cigarettes, sometimes in just a few minutes...Even though patrons leave carrying cartons that look very much like the Marlboros or Newports, the store charges taxes at the rate set for loose tobacco, which is just a fraction of what is charged for a commercially made pack.
So, lawmakers succeeded in excising exorbitant taxes on cigarettes and tobacco but failed to account for the reality of the free market and consumer habits. In New Jersey, my local favorite cigar shop has increased their revenues by selling loose tobacco and roll your own cigarette products. The cigar shop owner has purposefully exploited the misdirected intentions of "sin taxes" by promoting the roll your own side of his business.

But we all know, this has little to do with increasing tax revenue to aid our failing State and Municipal economies, as noted in the article, it is about increasing the nanny state, er, I mean, saving lives...
Quote:
studies had shown that they are pressuring people into quitting, or not taking up the habit, and thereby saving lives.
Regardless of how you personally feel about smoking, hopefully you view "sin taxes" for the social engineering that they are.

What a joke.
November 21, 2011 4:33:58 PM

Since smokers nearly single handedly fund healthcare for poor children, you would think they would want more smokers, not less. ;) 

You're right, what a joke.
November 21, 2011 7:23:37 PM

Quote:
The public health authorities never mention the main reason many Americans have for smoking heavily, which is that smoking is a fairly sure, fairly honorable form of suicide.


-Kurt Vonnegut-
November 21, 2011 9:09:55 PM

wanamingo said:
Quote:
The public health authorities never mention the main reason many Americans have for smoking heavily, which is that smoking is a fairly sure, fairly honorable form of suicide.


-Kurt Vonnegut-



Tell that to native Americans.
November 21, 2011 10:11:58 PM

omg, originally native Americans used tobacco for ceremonial purposes.
November 22, 2011 12:28:59 AM

As if getting the smoking ban into law isn't enough now they are spending more tax dollars to sue the small businesses owners into submission.

It seems to me that if the loophole in the law and tax code existed and what these smoke shop owners is legal then the law is fundamentally flawed. Sure there are bound to be unintended consequences to any law but just because these small business owners found a way around it is no reason for the city to sue them over tax evasion. The fact that they have to resort to suing for tax evasion is evidence that the law is flawed. Also proof that the tax code is the weapon of the elites to support or punish business.

But I guess I have to consider the cost of health care. I supposed I need to think of how much less in State and Federal taxes we'd pay if no one smoked and no longer required health care related to the effects of smoking. Come to think of it, maybe we should ban all trans-fats too...oh that's right, NYC already did that! I wonder how much less in taxes New Yorkers are paying from the ban on trans fats. It's been five years now, surely there are some tangible cost reductions. Even if only a tenths of a percent, something to show that banning trans-fats and/or smoking has saved some lives.

I just do not understand the mentality and the irrational thinking that goes into passing trans-fats and smoking bans. Yeah, I get it, trans-fats are bad, smoking is bad. CVD and cancer are two of the biggest health concerns facing Americans today. But if you don't know that by now then there isn't any law or ban that can make a difference. Paradoxical that the same mentality that supports a woman's right to choose also bans the type of oil her food is cooked in and what she may choose to inhale. At least that mentality is consistent in that it tells people what they can or can not do to their own person.
November 22, 2011 1:47:41 AM

Because, "they" know better.
Period.
Dont ask, dont tell them about what you think.
Their logic is superior to yours

The feeble attempts at repelling their right to do as they do, as you also must do, are futile.
The poorest non smoker, along with the richest soaks up all the tax dollars, while smokers themselves are considered todays lepers, and according to them, well they should, just too bad it isnt a serious drug, then youd get all sorts of help, psychitrists, 12 step programs, sympathy, etc etc, and all paid by those dirty smokers and their righteously due payments, brought about by those thatre are more caring, smarter and loving.
OK Rant over
November 22, 2011 10:08:02 AM

... can one of you guys like spend a few days in the shop and roll me up a few hundred thousand ... then post them to my holding account in Nigeria?

I'll cover you for the costs and send you some Engineering samples ... and I have a spare donkey I won at the AMD firesale last week.
November 22, 2011 11:45:16 AM

This just goes to show, the whole "healthcare debate" in America has nothing to do with health at all, but control. What you can and can't do to your body, what you can eat, what you can't ingest (trans fats), etc.

If everyone paid for their own healthcare, just like we used to, and take personal responsibility, we wouldn't have to pass these "health regulations" to control costs.

Healthcare used to be very affordable and of excellent quality in this country. There is a direct correlation between rising costs and when government began to get involved in regulating the healthcare industry in the late 60's and early 70's.

Return the industry to market forces and let the consumer decide. Force the providers to compete for our business. Currently there really is no competition. i.e. if the provider sucks, doesn't matter, they still get paid. That's bad for everyone.
November 22, 2011 12:18:39 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Because, "they" know better.
Period.
Dont ask, dont tell them about what you think.
Their logic is superior to yours


Oh, that's right! Their logic and humanistic ideals are far superior to my pragmatic reality based approach; how silly of me!

And progressives/liberals wonder why conservative thinkers refer to them as "the elite". As they say, socialism isn't for the socialist, but only the people.

JAYDEEJOHN said:
The feeble attempts at repelling their right to do as they do, as you also must do, are futile. The poorest non smoker, along with the richest soaks up all the tax dollars, while smokers themselves are considered todays lepers, and according to them, well they should, just too bad it isnt a serious drug, then youd get all sorts of help, psychitrists, 12 step programs, sympathy, etc etc, and all paid by those dirty smokers and their righteously due payments, brought about by those thatre are more caring, smarter and loving.
OK Rant over
You've got a point there. Maybe the tobacco lobby and smokers need to influence Congress into making smoking a lifestyle illness, like diabetes. It is an addiction after all and deserves the same treatment and sympathy that other lifestyle diseases get.
November 23, 2011 11:31:52 AM

Generally, at least in the past, loose tobacco didn't have all the additives and 'pipe' tobacco was left alone. They figured most people would be too lazy to actually take the time to make their own.
For years I've known plenty of people who have rolled their own. They're healthier, cheaper, and not as convenient so they actually smoke less (plus the lack of chemicals).

Tobacco companies know this and plan on moving into this field. Some have created nicotine laced toothpicks, mints (not targeted at kids), and other such items. The stronger focus is on smokeless tobacco. This is where it will get interesting. The second hand smoke is a major incentive to ban or tax smoking. Now, with smokeless tobacco, it only affects the individual. Let's see where that goes.

Tax it, people will find other ways to have it. Yeah, you'll cut down on it but you won't stop it. As stated, it goes into the gov't telling you what you can and cannot do to your body... utlimately because it'll keep those future healthcare costs down when that crap takes over.
November 23, 2011 11:34:48 AM

riser your logic is excellent ...

Get me some smokes or I'll kidnap your cartoon dog !!
November 23, 2011 12:30:40 PM

I smoked rolled cigarettes in college and when times were tough. About 2 years ago they started taxing it by weight so a 15$ tin of tobacco (Literally too much, I couldn't smoke it before it dried out) Now costs upwards of 70$.

Campus police routinely had me break my smokes to make sure it wasnt wacky tobacky.
!