Ohio increases tax on smokes by 70 cents a pack.


Now, as much as I am outraged by this blatant attempt to gouge the users of a legal product, I’m glad for it. I really am. Wanna know why? I’ll tell you.

I’m glad for it because it’s further down the road to making everybody quit smoking, which preserves their lives (albeit in a manner that I find extremely coercive, but what the hell). See, what will happen then is that without the tax base, without the large number of smokers subsidizing everyone else, everybody else will have to bear the tax burden, and I’ll get to hear them screaming about it from coast to coast. We all know that the cigarette settlements of a few years ago have pretty much been used up, with very little of it going towards smoking cessation programs, so there’s little reason to believe that this tax money will be used for any such purpose. In addition, budgets expand to use all available funds. So yeah, what I want to see is for people to quit en masse, and make you non-smokers eat shit when there’s a massive shortfall in the budget because eveybody quit.

Or maybe I want to see the black market explode. Maybe I want to see people getting picked up for illegal cigarette trafficking so I can hear that scream from coast to coast as well. Yeah, that’s it. Let’s send a few people to jail. That’s coming, you know. There will come a day when it will be profitable to smuggle smokes, and with taxes like this it will be soon.

I confess that I am a smoker and that this really chaps my ass because of that, but even if I were to quit (more likely when I quit) it doesn’t take a genius to see that some people are bearing one hell of a burden for the rest of you, and I think that it is morally and ethically reprehensible. And what’s more, they set these usurious tax levels in the certain knowledge that smokers are addicted and will not quit, or that theere will be a new generation of smokers to take up the slack. How egregious.

Are you in Ohio, Airman? If so, close to the KY border? Because if you are, hustle over and stock up in Kentucky. That’s what myself and Mrs. Chatelaine do.

Fuck this tax hike.

No, I’m in Pennsylvania, and I assure you that it’s coming here because Fast Eddie never saw a tax he didn’t like. Give it time. It’s already up from .99 ten years ago to $4.75 for a pack of brand name. $7 is inevitable, and even at that price there will be people buying them, although hopefully not that many so that we can shift the tax burden quickly, painfully, and unexpectedly to everybody else.

Airman, smuggling across state lines has been happening for years in Australia. And just out of interest, how much are smokes in the United States? We pay about US$8.00 for a packet of twenty-fives.

Second question answered. Sorry, shoulda previewed.

It depends on the state, TLD. They can be as high as $8.00 for the popular name brands to as low as $3.00.

I’m with you, Airman. I’m quitting soon [gotta so I can adopt some little furry creatures], but this will **still ** piss me off.

You’d be surprised, perhaps, but as a fervent non-smoker I agree to a certain extent. There is only so far you can go with the discouragement aspect of taxing unwanted products. I am totally fine with banning smoking in areas where second hand smoke can even remotely affect non-smokers. As far as I am concerned, I am also fine with recognising nicotine as the hardcore drug it is. If I’ve understood the potency of nicotine correctly, I believe that replacing nicotine with equal amounts of heroine would lessen the addictive quality of smoking. It quickly becomes essential to many important nervous system functions that then come to function 40% less without nicotine. At the same time, I could imagine that with obesity rising, there might come a point where the negative influence on your metabolism (decrease of 40% while smoking, which is the reason people often go up in weight when they quit) helps more than it hurts. Who knows.

I think that they are in fact moving towards banning smoking, but an immediate full ban would have caused similar harmful effects as the prohibition early 20th century did. In fact, in Sweden, already in 1996 smugglers could make more money from trafficking smokes and cheap vodka from Poland to Sweden than from any other form of drug (Sweden, like several other European countries including the Netherlands, started the tax policy to discourage smoking a long time ago already).

But I’m not sure if this works - the War on Drugs doesn’t work either. I would rather see that people keep being informed properly about the dangers of smoking, that smoking companies keep being obliged to warn people about the harmful effects, that, say, insurance companies are allowed to tax people who smoke higher (that is not to say they will - only if they perceive that people who smoke are in fact more expensive medical consumers, which might or might not be true), or that people who smoke get put lower on the list of, say, lung donation lists.

I am very liberal, but I do think that people should primarily be taught to take care of themselves. You can help them do that, as for instance the Irish government has, with massive support from its whole population, by banning smoking in pubs, if they choose to. But primarily people have both the right and the obligation to take responsibility for their own actions so long as they don’t harm others.

Thank God I haven’t had a cigarette in over 12 years! This is insane. Five bucks for a pack of smokes? I was up to 2 1/2 packs a day when I quit!

When I started smoking, cigs were 75 cents a pack and they came in vending machines. I think when my dad started, they cost 23 cents and the machines only took quarters, so the cig company put 2 cents inside the cellophane of each pack!

I think sin taxes are kind of lame. I mean, are they really supposed to discourage people from doing something? That would be disasterous for these gov’ts. I mean, if everybody quits, where will they get all that money they were getting from tobacco taxes? Believe me, once they are used to spending it, they won’t go without!

But I know for a fact that even if I hated it, I would have payed whatever it cost to keep smoking…

Interesting point.

How many smokers do you know who said they would quit when cigs hit $x a pack and didn’t?

Has there been any studies showing smoking rates after a major tax/price increase?

I smoke Tahoes.

$13.90 a carton…including tax.

I threaten to quit every time the price gets bumped up. I’ve been threatening to quite for decades. :rolleyes:

Soon tobacco will be as expensive as marijuana. When that happens, sales will dry up completely and nobody will smoke anymore.

Tobacco tax is very attractive.

  1. As a policy maker, raising the tax means youre appearing to do something about a health issue (more about that later).
  2. It’s a great source of revenue that keeps renewing itself as long as people smoke. Not like one shot taxes, as with sale of property or some such. (Gas tax is great for the same reason).
  3. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the US or some other country which has a more liberal approach to tax funded medical care - smoking takes decades to make you seriously ill, i.e. you harvest the taxes now, some poor idiot 30 years from now (preferably from the other political side) gets to pick up the tab.

Also, even though smoking is strongly related to certain types of cancer and circulatory deseases, the number of smokers who actualy become seriously ill (each year), as compared to the total number of smokers, is surprisingly low. If you look at costs for society (both public and private), then alcohol is a problem several magnitudes larger than tobacco. Health, violence, crime, accidents, financial aspects… And alcohol related costs shows up now and 30 years down the road.

True, at least, as soon as it becomes generally known that marijuana is best consumed in the form of tea. :smiley:

while I have to laugh at a smoker complaining about tax on tobacco and the concept of “everyone” quitting all of a sudden I do kind of agree with the post.

basicly smokers are self imposing a higher tax bracket on themselves and because the government knows how hard it is to quit its easy to keep piling on the taxes.
the part I dont get is why pot is STILL illegal, with all the cash the gov makes of cigs and booze you would think the billions that would roll in from legalised maryjane would have made that stuff legal years ago.

Well, if Airman’s scenario pans out, maybe the gov will legalize it just so they can charge us ususrious tax rates. I’d be fine with that, personally. So, count me in on the side of the OP, for entirely different reasons.


I thought tax cuts were great for the economy!? Isn’t that what our great leaders in DC told us when they cut taxes?

You see, Ohio is looking so far ahead that they actually WANT people to quit. They are counting on it. With people spending less on taxes, why, they will have so much more to spend on other things! The economy will become white hot! It’s brilliant!

Anyone who thinks the above post was made with any seriousness needs to find a stepladder to avoid further wooshing.

If states don’t crack down on this, the internet is your friend.

I don’t smoke cigarettes, but I do like to have a cigar most days, and the tax in CA is absurdly high. I buy my cigars over the net, and pay about 1/3 what I would (including shipping) if I bought them here. As much as I’d love to support my local cigar shop, I just can’t justify it.

Sheesh, you don’t even need the internet. Just pick up the phone.

I can name two. My mother and father. both of my parents were heavy smokers. My dad was about 3 packs a day of unfiltered Camels, my mom about 2 packs a day of Kools. They were so hard core they smoked at the dinner table. As a little kid with asthma dinner was not fun. In 1956 there was a one penny tax increase in the cost of cigs. Both of my parents, independent of each other, decided that it was too expensive and quit cold turkey. Neither one of them ever had another cig for the rest of their lives.
This is why when people tell me that cigs are so adictive that it is impossible to quit, I do a :dubious: .

Like any addiction, it varies from one individual to another. Some quit real easy, some have to struggle, and some never do. It varies.