Home > Budget, Health, Taxes > Cigarette tax: could be boon for criminal element

Cigarette tax: could be boon for criminal element

March 8, 2010

Another reason to fight cigarette tax hike: It might lead your kid to switch to pot | Political Insider.

If your kid is smoking these death rolls, there’s a better than even chance he or she is already smoking weed and drinking too. With that said, what concerns me about this proposed tax on cigarettes is that the more you tax an item, the more you place it out of reach for the addicted. When something like cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs are banned or taxed to darn near being banned, you open up the possibility of the black market taking over. The streets are a cruel irony to our capitalist system. Our system has the rule of law at play, so it helps regulate commerce and keep a sense of civility to transactions. On the street, supply and demand rules, without any regulation or rule of law. Unless you count murdering or intimidation of competition regulation. If a product that is addictive becomes too expensive for the user, he or she will turn to other means of getting that fix. A quick google search of nicotine addiction, and you will get a wealth of info comparing nicotine addiction to alcohol, and other drugs like cocaine. This is what the American Heart Association had to say about nicotine addiction:

Nicotine is an addictive drug. It causes changes in the brain that make people want to use it more and more. In addition, addictive drugs cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The good feelings that result when an addictive drug is present — and the bad feelings when it’s absent — make breaking any addiction very difficult. Nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break.

Imagine cigarettes becoming so expensive because of taxation that smokers started knocking off convenience stores to get their fix. Imagine someone robbing you at gun point because they saw you with a smoke, and they could not afford one. Think this sound alarmist or extreme, then check out this study from the Mackinac Center. Incidents involving large thefts of cigarettes is not uncommon. Taxing a product to the point that is is essentially unattainable makes it easier for the underground economy to help supply the demand. And once the underground gets a hold of it, then there’s no way to control it. The control is handed over to whoever is the strongest, or most willing to do anything to make a buck. I am not a smoker, and can’t stand being around cigarette smoke. Thinking you can tax addictive substances into oblivion is a short-sighted way to deal with irresponsible budget planners, and does little to help those suffering from the addiction.

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