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Wahhhh! Tobacco Companies not making enough money...


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"Often sold in baggies for as little as $6 for 200 cigarettes, they come with no health warnings or ingredient listings. Young people who buy them are not asked for identification -- as stores selling legal tobacco are required to do -- and the trade is known to be linked to organized-crime networks that also deal drugs, weapons and alcohol."

So contraband cigarettes create all these social problems, whereas legal cigarettes have programs in place to reduce these social problems, and contraband cigarettes cost the gov't money while legal cigarettes create gov't revenue.

Now where else could we apply this logic?

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I was shocked when a coworker told me she was getting cartons of smokes for $10!!!!

Yeah, and it's really hard to shed a tear for the Tobacco companies. Get them to convert over to hemp fields and retool the factories to produce hemp-based products (there's a gazillion of 'em to choose from).

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One of my closest friends is a research-lawyer for a giant, evil law-firm that defends Big Tobacco in litigation. She has contacted me now and then to help her out with researching BC law.

To say the least, I'm always a bit conflicted ... I mean, do I help one of my best friends, if she is helping the powers of evil? She will get the job done anyway, it'll just be harder for her if I don't help, and she looks worse to her evil employer ...

... Then again, I run the risk of getting her answers she might not come up with on her own, and I don't want her to have...

I dunno.

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It's entirely unfortunate that we're bent on villifying tobacco when we're not laying the foundations for an overall healthy society.

Indoor air quality, bad food, and poisoned drinking water (chlorine, fluoride) have a much bigger impact on health, as their influence in our lives is so hard to measure.

Cheap furniture and paint in our homes makes us sicker than a few smokes, but burning anything and inhaling smoke isn't a healthy thing to do.

Sin taxes more than pay for the costs to our health system from smoking.

Big tobacco would be doing much better if they produced 'all natural' tobacco products that actually deserve a slightly higher price tag.

King Size Organics? probably not gonna happen anytime soon.

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Imagine the horror of buying smokes with no health warnings. Someone could get hurt.

I really would rather keep it squarely within the regulatory realm, as far as possible.

Slap it with warnings, but more importantly tax it to the degree that can most accurately be measured to be its cost. (And before all of the other smokers shit on me, I'm a smoker - a rather heavy one, at that. This is a *public* health care system .. I should pay for the excess burden that I place on it, and you should too)

As far as the food argument, I'd get on board with that too, if I felt we could demonstrate some of it with certainty. Health studies re: food are absurd to the point of hitting the highly comedic. I'm not at all convinced that there is anything wrong with fat - in general - and in fact can't see much to convince me that the lipid-phobia of the sort that we've been engaged in for the last 30 years hasn't caused a whole lot of new health problems. I don't want to take this conversation in that direction, but my point is that the degree of the quality of research should help guide some of this. We used to have doctors suggesting that their patients smoke Camels .. it takes some time for these things to play out.

I will support an increased luxury tax on fast food, FWIW. But am digressing heavily.

Keep it in the regulatory stream, and manage it as effectively as possible. The tobacco companies may be worried about lost profit - and sure, but fuck it - I'm worried about lost profit, too. Bouche, from the article: "13 billion illegal cigarettes were bought in 2008". Take a rather generously cheap average of $7 for a full (25) pack = (1,000,000,000 / 25 = 40,000,000) * 7 = $280,000,000 per year, skim some off for tobacco company profits, add the remainder to the system.

Cost of smoking for the HC system in 1991 (sorry, closest data I've got available) was $250,000,000. Dude - take the money.

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