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Friday, February 27, 2009

Smokers Rights Newsletter

The United Pro Choice
Smokers Rights Newsletter

February 27, 2009 - Issue #518

"If you find yourself in a hole,
the first thing to do is stop digging."
- Will Rogers
Big Tobacco’s New York Black Market. How America’s Top Cigarette Firms Fueled a Billion-Dollar Underground Trade. “The cigarette black market in New York is enormous, and it’s brazen, and it’s carried out right under the nose of the government,” said Eric Proshansky, an attorney for New York City who has filed lawsuits against wholesalers and Indian vendors for their role in the illicit cigarette trade. So brazen are they, Proshansky added, that two New York smugglers are even suing each other in court over their illegal profits.

Cigarette Tax Increases Cut Smoking While Harming Bonds’ Health. As the credit crunch extended to the municipal market in September 2008 and investors shunned all except the safest securities, tobacco bonds backed solely by settlement payments plummeted to trade for as little as 53 cents on the dollar. Cigarette makers are trying to recoup portions of payments they’ve already made.

Cigarette Taxes. The nation's first federal cigarette tax was enacted in 1864 as a Civil War revenue measure. In 2005 the federal cigarette tax stood at 37 cents per pack. The nation's first state-level cigarette excise tax was enacted in Iowa in 1921. By 1969 all 50 U.S. states had followed suit. In 2005 state-level cigarette taxes ranged from 7 cents per pack in South Carolina to $2.46 per pack in Rhode Island. The wide variety of state cigarette excise taxes provides opportunities for consumers to shop for bargains across borders—and for smugglers to make substantial profits.
From The Mailbag
PHIL WILLIAMS: New! ASHBUSTERS 2, Defenders of the realm.
30,000 Scientists want to sue Al Gore for fraud.
KS: Salina, Smoking ban foes push candidates, costly special election, for repeal.
USA: The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Private property issue.
USA: Smokers Complain About Taste of 'Fire-Safe' Cigarettes. All will be of this variety by 2010.
Australia: Demands self-extinguishing cigarettes.
The Canadian Smokers Rights Newsletter.
Canada: City of Thunder Bay meeting February 25.
UK: Sir George Godber. Chief Medical Officer who helped to found the NHS and fought tobacco.
Pipes: The Latest Thing They're Smoking in Pipes on College Campuses: Tobacco. Despite Risks, More Young People Light Up; "It Looked Like the Coolest Thing Ever."
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