Not even one

There is an American tobacco brand called American Spirit. Rolling baccy and readymades. They are available in the UK although you might need to get them by mail order because (certainly round here) nobody has heard of them.

They are apparently very good, but are the UK ones the same as the US ones? Well, someone offered to send both myself and Roobedoo a pack of the US American Spirit cigarettes to try out. We could compare them to the UK ones, although at £10 a pack, the UK ones wouldn’t be a regular smoke. Not for me at least.

So, one pack of cigarettes in a package. Will they be allowed through? One pack cannot be considered smuggling. Keep in mind that these cigarettes are legal in both the country they are coming from and the one they are going to. That they will not explode, leak or spontaneously combust on the way. That they pose no risk of harm whatsoever. Will they get delivered?


They didn’t even make it out of the state. Why?

They are prohibited. They are perfectly legal to buy in both countries but you cannot send even one pack between countries. Not even one.

Now, I could understand if we were talking a crate of cigarettes, but we are talking one pack. Actually, smugglers wouldn’t even send a crate of them by post. The cost of postage would wipe out any profit from the price differential. Sending one pack at a time would leave you with a street price way higher than even the UK shop price. So ‘smuggling’ is not an excuse.

Nobody is going to smuggle tobacco all the way from the US to the UK. Not when you can load up a small boat in Amsterdam and land it at night on a Dover beach. Hell, you could do it with sail, you don’t even need fuel.

Still, at least the US post returned them to the sender. The UK post would probably burn them, and I wouldn’t be even slightly shocked if I heard they burned them one at a time.

The UK’s Royal Mail have such heavy restrictions on what can be posted, even within the country, that it’s really no surprise we have so many private courier companies now. The private couriers are always your best bet for anything large or heavy – they are cheaper and many of them will collect from your house. Very useful way out here because the little sub-post office in Local Shop can’t handle parcels unless they fit wilthin the general post. Posting anything big means a 25-mile round trip or call a courier.

But I digress.

This is how deep the antismokers go. How petty they can be. How spiteful they have become – all with the full support of those governments who demand taxes on earniings, taxes on spending, in the case of booze, baccy and fuel, taxes on taxes. They rip money off us at every turn and yet are petty enough to enforce prohibition on the transport of a single pack of cigarettes.

‘Oh but one pack could become ten, then a hundred…’

Yeah right. At international postage prices that is really going to happen, isn’t it?

It has been true for a long time that you can visit a EU country from the UK, have a nice weekend away, load up on baccy for your return and save enough on baccy prices that your trip was essentially free. That won’t be true after a real Brexit of course. It probably won’t be true after the fake Brexit that is about to be instituted by Tory and Labour MPs with the backing of Mad Merkel, the Queen of Chaos. So we won’t even have that.

It’s been true for years that in many EU countries you’ll get a far better deal on baccy in the corner shops than in duty free. Most of the duty free only applies if you are leaving the EU.

Same for booze. Duty free whisky prices are beaten by a local Tesco or Aldi if you travel within the EU. There’s really no point even visiting duty free shops. Unless you are leaving the EU – then you get proper duty free prices.

Well, we’re leaving the EU, aren’t we? So at least we can pick up a litre of cheapo giggle water on the way home from our agonising sunburn holiday.

I’m betting that’ll be a ‘no’. I’m betting there’ll be a strict limit on what you can bring back, as if we weren’t in the EU, but the prices will be fixed as if we were. It will apply to cigarettes too.

I haven’t grown my own tobacco for a few years. I’m going to have to start doing it again.

Fortunately I have already stocked up on homebrew equipment. And I’m betting the farmer will let me have a kilo or two of barley cheap – probably free if I fix something or paint something that saves him a job.

I have also, during the course of reclaiming the garden from the weeds, found (so far) three blackberry bushes, some huge elder trees, brambles, raspberries, strawberries, so far five apple trees and seven cherry trees. Oh and let’s not forget the three well-established grapevines in the greenhouse. There’s no shortage of stuff to make booze from here.

There won’t even be a financial paper trail.

All this, you say, because you couldn’t get one pack of cigarettes? Yes. Not because of that one pack.

Because of the spite that stopped it.

21 thoughts on “Not even one

  1. Was it openly “declared” as cigarettes? If so, that was the first mistake. But unless they have tobacco-sniffing dogs at the post office ( not that I’d put it past them) there are other ways to get them there. Use your imagination.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You were warned. Since before the Plebis-Cide. Smokers who voted for ‘Leave’ (or who voted in the plebis-cide at all actually) voted for Oz/Nz prices in the shops and ‘duty free’ levels- so something £45 a pack and only one pack may be ‘imported’. Its hard not to think of BrexSShiteur smokers in terms of *insert a bird even stupider than turkeys( Pheasants?)* and Xmas.
    But this is what you wanted, what you voted for.


    • But the UK hasn’t left the EU yet, and no mandatory medical porn – the reason for the prohibition – was passed by the EU, as a Directive, in April 2014. It was voted into law in the UK in March 2015.

      So Stretch, how in the fuck, did my voting ‘Leave’ on 23.06.16 cause this particular situation?

      *Oh, another good question, Clicky…*

      Stretch, that Arch Remoaner, Anna Soubry MP…

      … Rim ‘er much?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Antismoking laws have nothing to do with Brexit. Neither does the price of cigarettes, which varies enormously between EU countries.

      Did you know that if you go to any other EU country, there are no doors on the cigarette display and no plain packs? That’s all down to the gullible idiots in charge of the UK and Brexit won’t have any effect on any of it – other than to give us a chancetovote in some non-gullible non-idiots who aren’t trying to suck up to their masters in Brussels.

      As for Brexit itself, I have had time to give some thought to the latest developments and, you know, May’s latest debacle might not be a disaster for Brexit after all. If it pans out as it seems likely to, the remain camp (possibly including our apparently deranged PM) could be in for a huge and unpleasant surprise.

      I won’t say more on this yet, I’ll wait to see the next developments.

      But hey, you probably don’t want to hear anything from a pea-brained BexSShiteur smoker anyway. What could I possibly have figured out that the far more intelligent Remain moon-howlers have missed, eh?


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Before discovering whole leaf tobacco, Natural American Spirit was my tobacco of choice. I did once try a pack of their prefab snouts but found that they were packed too tight for my liking.

    On the subject of importing the odd packet of fags, I recently purchased a pack of Djarum Black (now unavailable in the EU, thanks to the TPD) from an Indonesian eBay seller. It cost £7 for a packet of 16. Even though the front of the package was covered in a customs declaration printout, it still managed to reach me successfully (the print was quite faded, which probably helped).

    Home brew is definitely the way forward. A friend of mine has a decent set up in his garage, with the ale being served through a cooler and it tastes wonderful. If every home had one I could see pubs becoming redundant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d heard of it, but when it was available it was an expensive choice. Now they’re ramped up tobacco prices across the board (the cheap shit is at least £8 a pack) it’s less of a difference. I could use the money saved from using IQOS to ramp up the quality of the real ones.

      But yeah, home grown and home brewed is the way to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Not because of that one pack. Because of the spite that stopped it.”

    Exactly. People ask me why, if I’m rolling my own and paying less than $2 per pack, I’m always screaming about cigarette taxes. They just don’t get it.


    – MJM, who enjoys hearing them start to make their own noises about the soda taxes…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: *…/lights up…* – Library of Libraries

  6. Actually one possible benefit of Brexit might be a revision of the UK’s tax laws. Alcohol taxation is one case in point. Now, people generally like to drink alcoholic drinks diluted down to below 15% ethanol, so functionally there is little difference at the point of consumption between drinks. So, a sane and sensible ethanol tax might be to simply tax the amount of ethanol in the actual beverage.

    However, the UK doesn’t do sensible. There are no fewer than fifteen different alcohol duty levels for alcoholic drinks in the UK, with shadings of difference between weak cider, strong cider, perry and so on. FIFTEEN different levels for essentially the same product (mostly water plus ethanol and flavourings).

    Until the tax people have a good kick to the head administered to bring them to their senses, the taxation system is only going to get sillier and sillier. The purpose of tax is really to give the State some money to do things that are best done by a state, which is actually only a very short list indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right about the purpose of tax.

      However, the purpose of the taxation system is to keep lots of number-shufflers employed and increase their little empires of nothing substantial.

      It could be vastly simplified across the board and would increase government funds while reducing what each of us pay in.

      Never gonna happen.


  7. Dear Mr Legiron

    A simple solution might be for your American friend to give a pack to someone heading this way – arguably anywhere in the EU would do – and post it from there.

    Hope this helps.


    Liked by 2 people

      • Dear Mr Legiron

        This cunning plan relies on knowing the person directly, so if your friend did know the president, a) hats off to him/her and b) probably would be able to get a pallet load onto Air Force One.

        Take you a while to smoke that lot.


        Liked by 1 person

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