In less than two weeks the fate of Wisconsin’s RYO shops will be in the hands of Wisconsin’s courts. While Neo-prohibitionist groups Like Smoke Free Wisconsin make the call “for the children” using questionable polls and out and out lies. It is time to inject some facts. These little RYO shops are not “Big Tobacco” most are middle class citizens just trying to make a living in these economic hard times. Some owners have even mortgaged their homes to start these little Mom and Pop shops. The claims that they are not paying their fair share of taxes is an out and out lie. The fact is that over 70% of the cost of their product is taxes. The closure of these places are not only an assault on low income smokers but on economic liberty. The draconian tobacco taxes are as un-American a the three Pence tax on tea which led to the Revolutionary war. But to shut down these little mom and pop shops will drive the business to SMUGGLERS.
This is what happens when an oppressive government tries to impose it’s will on the people. And it won’t be the heroic smugglers of history’s past like John Hancck the smuggling powerhouse of patriotic times. But the drug smugglers of the modern day prohibitionist era. One first has to remember what a smuggler has to offer. That is goods or services that Government tyrants want to either prevent or interfere with peaceable voluntary exchange among individuals. But worse is the illusion that it will protect the children flies in the face of the facts. This from a study in Canada where smuggling is prevalent.
TORONTO – Ontario’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health recently released a study which found that contraband cigarettes were consumed regularly by half of underage smokers today. The study, conducted as part of the 2009 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, was the first that asked youth their source, and prevalence of use of cigarettes. Beyond the finding that 50% of youth smokers had smoked at least one contraband cigarette per day over the past year, the study also found that 43% of all cigarettes smoked by youth were contraband.
And in Europe they actually use teens in their trafficking.
Smuggling tobacco products to UK is getting so hugely profitable that smugglers even started to offer teenagers free trips to Spain in exchange for bringing cigarettes with them to the country.
According to UK Customs authorities, they are confiscating up to 50 million of smokes, and it becomes evident that criminal gangs are using teenagers to smuggle cigarettes into Britain by giving them flight tickets and money to have holidays in those European countries where cigarettes are less expensive.
Think that can’t happen here? It’s already happening!
One only look to out neighbors to the east.
MIDLAND — Michigan’s inbound cigarette smuggling rate was 10th highest in the nation in 2009, according to a Mackinac Center study released today. The report is an update of the Center’s 2008 cigarette tax and smuggling study,
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) have found that Russian, Armenian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Taiwanese, and Middle Eastern (mainly Pakistani, Lebanese, and Syrian) organized crime groups are highly involved in the trafficking of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes and counterfeit tax stamps for profit.
That next drive by shooting may be over cigarette territory. Forget Second hand smoke. think lead poisoning!