Friday, April 3, 2009

For those who wanna grow their own tobacco

Here's a site I found for smokers interested in growing their own tobacco. As you can see, this site is also a shop for buying your own tobacco seeds.

GROW-YOUR-OWN TOBACCO

Overseas Smoke Shops

I know a smoker who reads my blog was asking about the cheapest online smoke shops.

Well, here are two more cheap smoke shops I learned about. My blog's list of "Online Smoke Shops" has been updated with the addition of these two shops as well. You'll find this smoke shops page by going FIRST to the "Online Smoke Shops" link you'll see off to the right of this blog.

CIGOUTLET.NET


SMOKIN 4 FREE


Although these smoke shops are based overseas, they DO sell Marlboros (for instance) only around $15. But their Marlboros are the European Marlboros. And the European Marlboro Reds are lighta in taste than the USA Marlboro Reds.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I like this political cartoon I found


CLICK THIS
to view a political "tobacco" cartoon.

I like this version of a political cartoon. That cig pack the cartoonist drew up is telling the truth about the hi-A taxes making smoking dangerous to your pocketbook (assuming you smoke big-name premades of course). I doubt a SG would warn smoking is expensive though.

The Smokers Rights Newsletter Issue

The United Pro Choice
Smokers Rights Newsletter

April 3, 2009 - Issue #521

"Avoid strong drink,
it may lead one to shoot at tax collectors, and miss."
- Samuel L. Clemens

Rush Limbaugh Morning Update:

High Taxes and Lost Liberties.

Surprise Supreme Court Decision Ends Big Pharma's Pre-Emption Bid for Legal Immunity. The decision has hit Big Pharma hard. The industry, already reeling from layoffs and a loss of innovation, is now facing a wave of lawsuits from potentially hundreds of thousands of people who have been harmed by dangerous prescription medications. The legal path for such lawsuits has now been cleared, and drug companies can no longer claim legal immunity just because they managed to deceive the FDA into declaring their dangerous chemicals were "approved."

Don't Flatter Yourself: Why Survey Research Can Be Flawed. When asked about their own behavior in relation to materialism, compulsive buying, drug and alcohol addiction, cigarette smoking, shoplifting, gambling, prostitution, and intolerant attitudes, people tend to answer in a less than candid manner.

JAMA editors allegedly threatened tipster. Professor Jonathan Leo raised concerns of study author’s ties to drug industry.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: Misusing and Tricking Kids into Doing Its Special Interest Lobbying for It; Behavior is Sleazy and Unethical. By Michael Siegel. In all seriousness, this is the sleaziest maneuver I have ever witnessed during my 23 years in the tobacco control movement.
From The International Mailbag
The Canadian Smokers Rights Newsletter, read all the news.
Africa: Urges G20 Leaders to break down trade barriers.
Hong Kong: May allow hi-tech smoking rooms in bars this year.
Scotland: Freedom2Choose Supports Vending Machine Operators.
Scotland: Petition: Request To Terminate Mental Health Consultation: The Truth Is A Lie? From Freedom to Choose.
Somalia: Islamists ban khat and cigarettes in Dhobley.
UK: A Ducking Doctor, Atherton incapable of defending herself.
UK: Phil Williams video response to anti Hamish Champ.
UK: Petition for UK residents only. Please sign today for the pubs.
From The USA Mailbag
AK: Both Soldotna and Kenai say NO to ban proposals.
CT: Mohegan promises smoking ban battle all the way to high court.
HI: IPCPR Says Hawaiians Should "Onipa'a" Against HB895.
IN: Star indulges tyranny of anti-smoking health police.
LA: Cigar 101, Cigar Night for beginners, get a free cigar 4/3/09.
NC: Note from NC Representative Thom Tillis.
NC: Says NO ban when there are no minors in the building.
ND: Smoking ban fails on all ND state university campuses.
NJ: Ex-health chief: NJ anti-smoking program faces cut.
NY: Gov. Paterson wants to snuff out cigarette sales.
NY: OK for American Taliban, but defending big tobacco verboten?
OH: Lawmaker Sen. Robert Schuler wants smoking ban changes.
SC: Local courts to consider if ban violations break law.
SD: Groups Considering Referral Of Smoking Ban. Hold a vote?
TX: Burleson says NO and rejects tougher smoking proposal.
VA: Smoking and non-smoking areas are permitted in restaurants.
USA: Fire Safe Cigarettes - Or - Smokers as Lab Experiments.
USA: PROMISES, PROMISES: Obama tax pledge up in smoke.
USA: Video dedicated to all that still believe in liberty.
USA: Massive Tobacco Tax Increase by Congress Spells Even More Economic Disaster for Jobs and State Economies.
The Slippery Slope After Tobacco
Obesity Epidemic: Headlines tell us the nation is getting fatter, and that obesity has become an epidemic. But there is more to the story, according to one University of Houston sociologist.
Sign: Smokers Not Allowed. If you're straining to accept the credulity of the sign, you did indeed read it correctly. The sign doesn't say: "smoking is not allowed in this room," it says "smokers are not allowed in this room."
Skin Cancer: Preventing America’s Most Common Cancer. Solar Radiation a.k.a Sunlight is a "Class A" carcinogen.
Third Hand Smoke: From the horses mouth the third hand smoke scare is nothing but lies and irresponsible outpouring of false information. Don’t believe the hype.
$$$: Big Pharm only wants you to use THEIR quit smoking products.

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What's an underground cig dealer?

Underground cig dealers are folks who sell packs of cigs in the streets, or maybe they use a house as a "hideout" for their black market version of a cig shop.

Most cig dealers are actually bootleggas....people who buy packs and cartons in a different state (or maybe even buy cartons online). And then the bootleggas re-sell the packs in the streets. These folks walk around in the downtown area of my city with a bookbag filled with Newport packs that are meant to be sold of course. Bootleggas would be hard to find in "country areas" of the USA. They a lot easier to find in my town. But I bet there ARE cig dealers out there in not-so-big cities.

A cig dealer around me could even be a low-profile criminal who's not selling weed (LOL) but Newport packs instead. Of course, those packs are actually stolen packs if he/she didn't actually buy them first. A Newport pack by me goes for 5 or 6 bucks if you buy it from someone selling packs in the streets.

Update on the topic of tobacco regulation

It's interesting that a tax hike is encouraging more to post in the groups, although most of the posts are coming from the "regular posters" of the groups. hee hee

While everyone is talking about the effects of the tax hike (including these "Boston TOBACCO Parties" I heard that will be happening in DC, Atlanta, and Dallas on April 15th), here's some otha news. But this is still in relation to politicians and tobacco.



WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has approved legislation that for the first time would give the government powers to regulate tobacco products.

The 298-112 was a significant victory for anti-smoking groups that have long sought to subject cigarettes to the same government scrutiny that food items on the nation's grocery shelves face.
Under the bill, the Food and Drug Administration would be able to regulate, but not ban, cigarettes and other tobacco products. The FDA could make ingredients public, ban flavoring and prohibit marketing campaigns.

The Senate could take up its version of the bill later this month. Supporters are confident they can get Senate passage and President Barack Obama's signature on the bill.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Anti-smoking forces are predicting a long-awaited victory when the House votes on legislation that would, for the first time, allow government regulation of tobacco products.
The House scheduled a vote for Thursday morning on the legislation, which gives the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate — but not ban — cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Action by the Senate, and President Barack Obama's signature, still would be needed before the bill could become law.
Supporters were convinced they could achieve both those steps. They said success was in sight after years of attempts to tame an industry so fundamental to America that carved tobacco leaves adorn some parts of the U.S. Capitol.
"We have come to what I hope will be an historic occasion, and that is finally doing something about the harm that tobacco does to thousands and thousands of Americans who die each year," Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said Wednesday as lawmakers debated his Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
It was Waxman who in 1994 summoned the heads of big tobacco to the famous hearing where they testified that nicotine was not addictive.
His bill wouldn't let the FDA ban nicotine or tobacco outright, but the agency would be able to regulate the contents of tobacco products, make public their ingredients, prohibit flavoring, require much larger warning labels and strictly control or prohibit marketing campaigns, especially those geared toward children.
Opponents from tobacco-growing states like top-producing North Carolina argued that the FDA had proven through a series of food safety failures that it's not up to the job. They also said that instead of unrealistically trying to get smokers to quit or prevent them from starting, lawmakers should ensure they have other options, like smokeless tobacco.
That was the aim of an alternate bill offered by Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., who would leave the FDA out and create a different agency within the Health and Human Services Department. His bill also was expected to come to a vote Thursday.
"Effectively giving FDA stamp of approval on cigarettes will improperly lead people to believe that these products are safe, and they really aren't," Buyer said. "We want to move people from smoking down the continuum of risk to eventually quitting."
Major public health groups, including the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association, wrote to lawmakers asking them to oppose Buyer's bill, contending it would leave tobacco companies without meaningful regulation and able to make untested claims about the health effects of their products.
Buyer pointed out that Waxman's bill is supported by the nation's largest tobacco company, Marlboro maker Philip Morris USA. Officials at rival tobacco companies contend the Waxman bill could lock in Philip Morris' market share.
Former President George W. Bush opposed Waxman's legislation and issued a veto threat after it passed the House last year. The Obama administration, by contrast, issued a statement declaring strong support.
Obama has spoken publicly of his struggles to quit cigarettes.
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., plans to introduce his version of the legislation after Congress returns from a recess later this month. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., is expected to lead the opposition, but supporters are confident they can clear the 60-vote threshold needed to break a filibuster.
Waxman and Kennedy have been trying to give the FDA authority to regulate tobacco ever since the Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the agency did not have that authority.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A cig heist in Michigan

Here's a cig heist from MI. This brief doesn't estimate how much was stolen in cigs.

ARTICLE LINK


I left a comment on there too.

***************

cooljay1978 wrote:
I guess that means someone who steals money from a bank or a gas station is pathetic too, am I right? Although money being robbed out of places has been going on for years.

If beer was say $50 for a 24-pack similar to the cost of a carton of cigs, who said alcoholics wouldn't bother pulling off beer heists?

You'll get used to it. People stealing cigs is going to become a lot more common to hear in the future. When something becomes unaffordable, people will do what it takes to get what they want. That's how bank robbers work. And that's how some smokers will think on getting cigs.

Smokers are a good resource

Leaglizing weed for medicinal purposes in ILis an interesting idea. If that happens in IL, then I can simply see more bros and sistas switching from Newports and otha menthol cigs to smoking weed. And they can use the "I'm using this weed as medicine" excuse.

Seems to me IL is one of those few states that don't wanna see people stop smoking in general. I wonder if medicinal weed would be just about as expensive as a pack in the Windy City. LOL

As far as me being a natural resource goes, HA! Even with me stocking up on cartons last month, I'm STILL poor as he!!. I definitely ain't no bank. But I guess if I can afford to smoke cigs, then I must be rich.

(Who said I buy my cigs around here anyway? That assumption from nonsmokers is dumb...a doc even told me years ago "If you can afford to smoke a pack of cigs per day, you can afford to pay for your medication." The joke's on you if you think I buy cigs in IL period!)


**************************
http://www.northern star.info/ article/7034/

Smokers have become a natural resource

By KEITH CAMERON
Last updated on 04/01/2009 at 8:39 p.m.

Smokers, it is the year 2009. Bars and bowling alleys are completely free of secondhand smoke, while a few still puff on cigarettes outside in a cold and barren wasteland.

Suddenly, news from the government is handed down. Taxes will rise $1.01 for all tobacco products. Somewhere a smoker coughs in disgust, but no one hears.

"It's a person's personal choice to smoke, and they're not forcing it on anybody else," said senior psychology major Valerie Van Voltenburg. "So if they want to smoke, they should be allowed to smoke and not taxed to death over it."

That sentiment seems open-minded enough, but the country is facing an economic downturn so extreme that news pundits have compared it to the Great Depression. Smokers are a renewable resource that can be tapped to solve all our economic woes. And to ensure that all forms of smoking produce revenue, some states, including Illinois, are moving to legalize medical marijuana.

In a near and ironic future, citizens will be taxed on tobacco products that cause cancer and then smoke medicine charged to their insurance company. A March 27 Wall Street Journal blog commented on New Jersey's medical marijuana bill, which was recently voted out of committee and passed onto the state's legislature. While some may see this as a slight case of hypocrisy, everyone still has a chance to escape the smoking cycle.

"I'm going to cut back from smoking a lot right now," Van Voltenburg said.

Her decision could be the answer smokers need. Instead of paying high costs to push our economy forward, smokers could simply quit. Of course that decision seems awfully selfish when our economic stability balances on the tip of a BIC lighter.

In this desperate time, desperate measures need to be taken. Marijuana is no longer the enemy if the government accepts its usefulness to make money, and tobacco needs to be monetarily punished for all the harm it causes. Smokers, understand that you are not being unjustly persecuted; you've simply become the most profitable natural resource this country needs.

Quit smoking hotline saw an increase of 400 more phone calls on April 1

There's actually news on the ANTI side today.

I heard on the news a few mins ago the Quit Smoking Hotline (I guess run by the local version of the ACS) got a lot more calls within the Chicago area. Their lousy rep said they got 400 more phone calls today than usual on their Quit Smoking hotline.

I hope some of those phone calls today came from smoking activists. And not just smokers looking to stop one of life's pleasures. Smoking is really the only positive thang left for me. And it sucks the govt wants to try to force people to quit smoking.

IL wants to raise the state cig tax to $1

This new governor is just as stupid as Rod was in signing the statewide smoking ban into law.

If Quinn thinks youngstas are gonna be more inclined to not smoke by making cigs more expensive, he's crazy. A youngsta can do somethang like steal $10 outta one of his/her parents' wallets, and buy a pack. Or sh!t, that youngsta won't have to worry about buying cigs for a while if he/she knows an "older smoker" who intends on pulling off a robbery to get cigs.

And as far as motivating ME to quit...well Quinn would have a heart attack if he read my thoughts on why I have no intention on ever quitting. (A huge cig heist in this state would make him think twice on the STATE tax increase)

Make sure you catch IL's reason for raising the state tax...the senate wants IL smokers to help pay the state's Medicaid bills. So when someone buys a pack in IL, they helping fund SCHIP AND help pay overdue Medicaid bills.

(When smokers around me steal their cigs, Quinn won't have to worry about some of us paying ANY medical bills!)

*********************
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-cig-tax-increase-01-apr01,0,4131251.story

As a 62-cent federal tax hike on packs of cigarettes hits stores today, lawmakers in Springfield are considering an additional $1 tax over two years that would make Chicago among the most expensive cities in America to buy cigarettes.

A state Senate committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would increase Illinois' 98-cent tax on cigarette packs by 50 cents this year and another 50 cents next year to pay down the state's backlog of Medicaid bills. But for weary smokers still smarting from a statewide ban on lighting up in bars and restaurants, the tax increases are seen as yet another government-led assault on their lifestyle.

"These are my last packs. It's just getting to be too much money," said Larry Gasper of Orland Hills, one of the countless smokers who flocked to city and suburban cigarette retailers Tuesday before the federal tax spike. "They're just taxing us to death. I've had it."

The rising prices will affect retailers in different ways, pushing the average cost of a pack of cigarettes over $5 in many of the collar counties, about $8 in Cook County and more than $9 in Chicago, retailers estimated.

Though higher costs might drive some to quit or at least scale back their smoking, the reality, smokers said, is that if it were easy to quit many would have done so already.

"I think smokers are more likely to cut back on other things they buy than cigarettes," said Cathy Bay, who stocked up on cartons at the Tobacco House near her home in Tinley Park. "It's too tough. For older people who've been smoking most of their lives and now they have to deal with this, it's a difficult situation."

Others fear budget-minded smokers will find good deals wherever they can, even if it means driving to another state.

"This is an aggressive tax. It will cost Illinois tax revenue, slow the economic recovery, and it will cost Illinois jobs," said Bill Fleischli, executive vice president of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores.

In Springfield, Gov. Pat Quinn signaled support for the cigarette tax increase that advanced on a 7-5 party-line vote of the Democratic-controlled Senate Executive Committee because it reflects his March 18 budget proposal.

Quinn said the higher cost of cigarettes will stop youngsters from becoming smokers and cause some older smokers to quit. "Raising the price is actually a key way to do that," he said.

It's the kind of news smokers said they're used to hearing.

"A few years ago, I would have said $8 is too much for a pack of cigarettes. Now I say $10 is too much," said Andy Gleeson of Chicago's Northwest Side. "I've had to cut back on how much I'm smoking, but I'm not quitting yet."

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Update on CT cig heist

I just heard today that the total estimate of the cig heist in CT was actually a lot more than authorities thought.

$1 million (not $90k) was stolen in cigs. They say the total amount of cartons stolen was 150,000.

That cig heist sounded just about as good as a huge bank robbery if they were able to steal that many cartons!

Those robbers gotta be smokers themselves. Even with the intent of reselling those stolen packs underground, I can't imagine criminals who don't smoke but they still stole
1 million bucks in cigs.

If I heard of a group of robbers around here bragging about stealing 1 million bucks in cigs, I'd make sure I'd get my piece of the share before they sell the rest of those cartons. My "share" would be at least 60 cartons of only Newports. hee hee

Monday, March 30, 2009

$900 worth of cigars stolen (Ohio)

LINK TO NEWS PAGE


COLUMBUS, Ohio—It’s big news for smokers. A new federal increase on tobacco means it will cost more to light up.

It’s a $.62 jump per pack and a bigger increase for loose tobacco.

Some smokers said it’s enough to make them quit. Others said they’re trying to stock up before the date.

Others said they’re worried about possible crime.

NBC 4’s Marcus Thorpe reported ON WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Monday.

Hal Kuhn, manager of Tobacco Discounters in Columbus, said he wants his customers to shop now before the Wednesday, April 1, tax jump.

He said people have been getting cases and cases of tobacco.

Kuhn’s job is about to get a lot more dangerous.

“I won’t have people come in stealing my money. They’ll come in and say, ‘Give me all your cigarettes.‘ “

This week’s Central Ohio Crime Stoppers’ crime of the week was a perfect example.

The United Dairy Farmers convenience store at 1341 Georgesville Rd. was robbed at about 1:53 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23, according to police.

Two unknown black males allegedly stole more than $900 worth of cigars.

When the store manager attempted to confront the suspects, one of them grabbed her arms and physically pushed her to the doorway, and then both suspects exited, police said.

“They are more violent, more aggressive, more blatant because they will go through anything to get the items,“ Assistant Prosecutor Bill Hedrick said.

Hedrick said theft and resell is big business.

“The people stealing are not stealing to smoke a pack; they are stealing cartons,“ Hedrick said.

Some stores are changing operating hours. They plan to be open at well-lit times. Others are stocking up on security cameras.

Kuhn said he will keep informing his customers and shopping for himself—even if it’s not always in Ohio.

My wife just left for Florida. I told her to make sure she got a couple of packs down there, Kuhn said.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tax hike and FDA regulation


ARTICLE LINK


This article ain't just talking about the tax hike. But it brings up anotha topic that only online smokers know about as well.....possible FDA regulation of tobacco. And me read in this article that Obama WOULD sign a bill that would regulate tobacco. But I ain't really surprised that big-@$$ liar would do it.

At least tobacco regulation might make it illegal to add FSC chemicals in brands...I hope.

$90,000 worth of cigs has been stolen

This may be a news brief. But this brief has a lotta HUGE meaning to it for similar incidents happening in the future. Also goes to show that the money is indeed in the cig cartons for bootleggas and the black cig market.

At least I was right about more cig-related robberies happening with the tobacco tax hike. And the robberies are happening already. Based on the economy, I ain't surprised these robbers can't wait til April 1 to cash in on cartons.

*************************************'
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/connecticut/ny-bc-ct--cigaretteheist0329mar29,0,6707841.story

Heist nets more than $90,000 in cigarettes

MILFORD, Conn. - Milford police say more than $90,000 in cigarettes were stolen over the weekend from a local business that supplies items to convenience stores.

Police say more than 1,500 cartons of cigarettes and an undetermined amount of health and beauty supplies were taken in the burglary early Saturday at Montano Cigarette, Candy and Tobacco on Boston Post Road.

Officials say a large truck used in the burglary was stolen from a local rental business.

Video surveillance shows the perpetrators damaged the burglar alarms and disrupted phone and electricity services to the building. Then, they climbed a ladder to an adjacent building's roof, disabled other alarms and punched holes in the roof over the business to get inside.

Senecas will become fire-safe cigs

ARTICLE LINK

SENECA NATION, CATTARAUGUS TERRITORY - The Seneca Nation of Indians Tuesday announced a change in law to make sure all cigarettes sold on Nation territories are "fire-safe" and that all are tested, certified and marked as such before they can be sold.

The Tribal Council on Saturday joined 37 state legislatures in voting in favor of the measure, asking the Nation's Import-Export Commission, the agency that regulates tobacco commerce on Nation lands, to ensure that all tobacco products employ "safe-burn" technology so they self-extinguish if left alone.

"The Seneca Nation recognizes its responsibility to sell the safest-possible products and this decision was an easy one," said President Barry E. Snyder Sr. "Thanks to the Council's action, this now has the force of law."

The implementation plan states that as of Sept. 1 no cigarettes may be imported into, or manufactured within, the Nation's territories unless testing, certification and marking standards are met. By Dec. 1, 2009 all provisions of the law will take effect and no cigarettes can be sold or offered for sale within the Nation's territories unless the testing, certification and marking standards are fully complied with.

It is expected that most retailers will move quickly to meet the mandates, not waiting until they are legally enforceable. Cigarette manufacturers and wholesalers will have to meet a series of stringent testing criteria and certify their products are safe, on penalty of losing the right to sell in stores on Seneca territories.

The Nation enacted its Import-Export Law Feb. 15, 2007 "to protect Nation territorial integrity through the regulation of goods imported and exported into and from Nation territory and to generate revenue to conduct essential government operations." Revenues derived from stamping and regulating tobacco on Nation territories go in part to pay for Nation health-care programs.

Fire-safe cigarettes are an effective way to counter the risk of fires started by unattended cigarettes. The most common fire-safe technology used by cigarette manufacturers is to wrap cigarettes with two or three thin bands of less-porous paper that act as "speed bumps" to slow a burning cigarette. If a fire-safe cigarette is left unattended, the burning tobacco will reach one of these speed bumps and self-extinguish.

"Clearly the Seneca Nation endorses standards that ensure public safety and will minimize the risk to consumers," said Council Chair Richard Nephew. "This amendment to our Import-Export Law allows only so-called 'fire safe' cigarettes to be manufactured, imported and sold in the Nation's territories."