Make me smile.

The MSM have finally noticed what the blogs have said all along. Plain packaging is nonsense.

If they put the Dreadful Arnott’s face on tobacco packaging nobody would buy any. If they put the truth – 90% of the price is tax and it pays people to hate you – then nobody would buy it, It would be so easy. But then, living the subsidiised Government life would not be so easy. Tax-suckers, anyone? Politician, ban thyself.

I am still suffering the jetlag of an early Monday and have not yet recovered into full and natural nocturnality. I should not be so tired so soon after teatime.

For tonight then, here is a bit of jollity which might or mght not have any relevance at all. You decide.




Still thinking? Why so serious?


25 thoughts on “Make me smile.

  1. “If they put the truth – 90% of the price is tax and it pays people to hate you – then nobody would buy it,”

    Interesting thought. While it would probably be illegal to actually suggest to people that they break the law by buying non-taxed smokes, I can’t see where there’d be anything illegal about flyers or telephone-pole posters saying something like:

    “90% of the price of government-stamped, store-bought cigarettes is tax and it pays people to hate you. There *ARE* alternatives!”

    After all, how could you be blamed for anything? You’re clearly stating the truth. And you’re hoping to suggest that people just give up smoking or switch to e-cigs with such a flyer, right?

    The little graphic of the white van at the bottom just shows how you’re carrying the flyers around.

    – MJM


    • Profit from Smuggling Cigarettes in the United States

      in Business Security

      According to figures released by an official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a cigarette smuggler can make up to $500,000 from from smuggling cigarettes between states on the East Coast.

      The smuggler legitimately buys 200 cases of cigarettes in southern states such as North Carolina or South Carolina. Then, the smuggler would then drive up the coast to New York City, where the tax on tobacco is $4.35.

      56.9 percent of the cigarettes smoked in NYC in 2012 were smuggled though the black market.

      (See more profits from illegal jobs.)

      Source: Mark Niquette and Esme E. Deprez, “Cigarette Smuggling Prompts Crackdown by States Losing Billions,” Bloomberg Businessweek, March 24, 2014.


      • Tobacco smuggling and terror

        May 11, 2014 | Filed under: BDSunday | Author: Ikechukwu Orji

        Tobacco companies and health lobbyists never see eye-to-eye, but on one issue they make strange bedfellows: the issue of smuggling. Both parties, indeed all parties including anti-tobacco advocates and journalists, agree that the smuggling of cigarettes needs to be stamped out in order to protect public health, government revenues and commercial investments. These days there is an even more urgent incentive to stem smuggling – terrorism.

        Before addressing the link between terrorism and illicit trade in tobacco, there are a few fixed facts we should remind ourselves of. First, smuggling is not a thing of today. The practice has existed for centuries and as long as there are porous borders and corruption, it is likely to continue. Alcohol and tobacco, arguably the most lucrative legal products for smugglers, have been sneaked in and out of countries around the world for well over five hundred years.

        Secondly, smugglers are not charitable; they do it for profit. So as long as an item remains profitable, they will continue to supply it clandestinely. Conversely, once an item becomes unprofitable to smuggle, they will move on to other, more profitable things.

        One of the most fundamental principles of economics revolves around supply, demand and price. In very basic terms, the higher the demand, the higher the price. Once the legal supply of a product is cut off, demand for contraband versions of the product will rise. This will lead to a profitable jamboree for smugglers, who will control the supply and thus manipulate the price and their profit margins. It seems quite obvious that legislating legal producers out of existence will leave the supply of cigarettes in the hands of smugglers, which will lead to current levels of smuggling escalating out of control.

        The first and second points – that smuggling is a long established and profitable activity – have led to it becoming a means that international organised terror groups, crime rings and rebel guerrillas have turned to, to finance their activities. They do this either directly, by trafficking the goods, or indirectly, by offering paid protection for other groups carrying out the smuggling.

        Even the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which regularly makes clear its anti-tobacco stance, published a 2009 article titled ‘Terrorism and Tobacco’, in which well-known radical groups such as the ‘Real’ IRA, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, as well as lesser known rebel and guerrilla groups were reported to have either direct or indirect links to cigarette smuggling. In the report, an investigator was quoted as saying that “this is one of those few problems that is fixable”, saying that contraband can be dealt with because the (legitimate) producers and distributors can control the process. “You need to ensure that the products are being sold through legitimate channels, through legitimate distributors,” the investigator went on to state.

        The ways in which terror groups fund their activities are well known to politicians around the world. In 2007, a Republican member of the US House Committee on Homeland Security released a paper titled ‘Tobacco and Terror: How Cigarette Smuggling is Funding our Enemies Abroad’, in which he highlighted the link between smugglers and international terror. In some instances, non-terror organisations said to be in support of terror groups are said to channel part of their smuggling profits to fund the terror group’s expenses and attacks. Whether these benefactors are sponsoring terror for political or ideological reasons remains unclear.

        When tobacco companies clamour against smuggling, they are seen as being protective of their sales revenue, which is understandable – so would any other legal enterprise that has invested heavily in scientific research and development. But it is not just about sales and commercial concerns. Smuggling is no longer only a matter of government tax revenues or long-term public health concerns. With the increasing spate of terror attacks around the world, stemming the illicit trade in tobacco has become a matter of public safety. From Europe to Asia, Africa to the Middle East, no one is safe from terror attacks and we cannot continue to pretend that it is of no concern to us. It is a shared problem for all sides and as reported in the article by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, it is a problem that the legitimate producers and distributors can help to solve. Whoever thought that opponents in the tobacco control drama – companies, governments, anti-tobacco lobbyists and health campaigners – could one day be joined in a fight against a common cause? When it comes to cigarette smuggling, it may well become a case of sleeping with the enemy.

        Ikechukwu Orji


  2. “90% of the price is tax”.

    Recent studies (by me – two sources) put the figure at 77%. Feel free to blast my figures out of the water if they’re wrong.

    When you consider ciggies (like everything else) are paid for with already-taxed income, there can be no justification at all for taxing dried leaves to this extent. Imagine paying £8 or £9 for 20 tea bags.

    Does anyone know what the tax on tea in the American colonies was which set off that naughty behaviour in Boston?


    • The Americans kicked off over a tax of 3d in the £, or 1.25%. They saw it as the thin end of the wedge for the imposition of the tax rate of tea used in Britain (12.5% at the time).

      On a related note: I understand we’ve beaten Napoleon now, so when does the ‘temporary measure’ we know as Income Tax get repealed?


        • Interesting question.

          German constitution states, that it is illegal for the “Government” to sieze peoples property…… (They got all “hissy spitty” after some wee moustachoid queer Austrian bastard made a hobby of it around the middle of last century.)

          I must work on that.


  3. New wordology Moment from public health Nazis

    Obesogenic environments: exploring the built and food environments

    Amelia Lake, BSc (Hons), RD, RPHNutr, PhD
    Newcastle University, UK

    Tim Townshend, BA, (Hons), MA, MRTPI
    Newcastle University, UK


    Obesity is a significant health and social problem which has reached pandemic levels. The obesogenicity of an environment has been defined as ‘the sum of influences that the surroundings, opportunities, or conditions of life have on promoting obesity in individuals or populations’.1 Prevention and treatment of obesity has focused on pharmacological, educational and behavioural interventions, with limited overall success. A novel and a longer-term approach would be to investigate the environments that promote high energy intake and sedentary behaviour; this has not yet been fully understood. The obesity epidemic has attracted attention at all levels, from general media interest to policy and practice from health and other professions including urban designers and planners. Shaping the environment to better support healthful decisions has the potential to be a key aspect of a successful obesity prevention intervention. Thus in order to develop effective environmental interventions, in relation to obesity, we need to understand how individuals, and different groups of individuals, interact with their environments in terms of physical activity and food intake.



    Court overturns Bullitt smoking ban

    Three years into court proceedings, the Kentucky Supreme Court has issued a final ruling that overturns a smoking ban approved by the Bullitt County Board of Health.

    The board exceeded its authority, the court said, so the ban is invalid.

    Opponents and supporters of the smoking ban — which prohibited smoking in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants — argued their cases before the Kentucky Supreme Court in April. The hearing followed mixed rulings from Bullitt Circuit Court and the state Court of Appeals.

    The county board of health approved the ban in 2011. Board members argued that preventing health risks caused by secondhand smoke falls under its jurisdiction, as provided in a state law that allows it to adopt regulations “necessary to protect the health of the people.”

    However, Bullitt Fiscal Court and the eight cities within the county claimed in a lawsuit that Fiscal Court is the only legislative agency that can enact a countywide smoking ban.

    They asked Bullitt Circuit Court to prevent the board of health from implementing the ban. Bullitt Circuit Judge Rodney Burress agreed that the board did not have that authority and stopped the ban from taking effect.

    The state Court of Appeals later overturned Burress’ ruling, saying the board has the right to impose regulations involving public health, including a smoking ban.

    The decision from the Kentucky Supreme Court reverses the Court of Appeal’s ruling and reinstates Bullitt Circuit Court’s judgment, according to court documents.


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