New Hot Contraband: Cigarettes [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Ruble Noon
12-09-2012, 09:09
Smugglers are increasingly turning their attention from drugs and firearms to reselling cigarettes on the black market, taking advantage of increased cigarette taxes in some states — and making huge profits.
Since 2007, at least 27 states have raised their cigarette taxes to erase deficits or cover healthcare costs. In New York, the tax on cigarettes is $4.35 a pack, and an additional tax in New York City boosts the total to $5.85 a pack.
But the cigarette tax in Virginia is just 30 cents a pack, so smugglers can buy bulk quantities of smokes in Virginia and sell them in New York and other high-tax states at a huge profit — a racket known to police as “smurfing,” according to The Economist.
Other low-tax states include Louisiana (36 cents), Georgia (37 cents), and North Carolina (45 cents), while Rhode Island imposes a $3.46 tax, and Connecticut a $3.40 levy.
In New Jersey, which imposes a tax of $2.70 per pack, about 40 percent of all cigarettes are reportedly smuggled in from Virginia and other states.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimates that illegal cigarette sales cost local, state and federal governments nearly $10 billion a year.
Profits for the smugglers from cigarettes are better than from cocaine, heroin, marijuana or guns, according to the Virginia State Crime Commission, and penalties are far lighter than for drugs — five years in jail under federal law, compared to possible life in prison for heroin.
Virginia recently made it illegal to buy and possess, with intent to sell elsewhere, more than 5,000 cigarettes. But smugglers can easily fit 600 cartons — 120,000 cigarettes — in a car, which makes it easy for law enforcement to miss.
Interstate 95 earned the moniker “iron highway” when gun-running along the Atlantic Coast was at its peak, The Economist adds, but now “it is the new Tobacco Road.”

QNman
12-09-2012, 09:22
One more example of how and why people in this country continue to lose all comprehension of what "liberty" means... sin taxes, to excess.

Watch - the solution some will propose (and probably soon) will be to implement a federal tax on cigarettes, something like New York's. You know, to be "fair".

railfancwb
12-09-2012, 09:33
At one time - and possible still - Indian reservations had no cigarette taxes...local, state, or federal. Made Cherokee NC a booming export center.


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Atlas
12-09-2012, 09:42
Not exactly new, but with the extreme increases in tax in recent years, an increase in smuggling was predictable.

kenpoprofessor
12-09-2012, 09:54
Yep, put a tax or levy on it that makes it so very expensive, then bootleggers will continue to make extreme amounts of money off of it.

You really thing they figured it out with the 18th and 21st Amendments, but :wow:

Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day

Clyde

jakebrake
12-09-2012, 10:00
Yep, put a tax or levy on it that makes it so very expensive, then bootleggers will continue to make extreme amounts of money off of it.

You really thing they figured it out with the 18th and 21st Amendments, but :wow:



you'd think they would, but, it appears the average politician/govt employee isn't as bright as they like to tell us they are.

Sam Spade
12-09-2012, 10:19
So legalizing and taxing weed *isn't* the answer?

RC-RAMIE
12-09-2012, 10:27
So legalizing and taxing weed *isn't* the answer?

I knew you would figure it out Sam, legalize it with no extra taxes.


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Ruble Noon
12-09-2012, 10:33
So legalizing and taxing weed *isn't* the answer?


If the tax is exorbitant like the taxes on tobacco have become, then no. When taxes on cigarettes were something like 35 cents a pack, I don't remember smuggling being a large problem.

Atlas
12-09-2012, 10:49
If the tax is exorbitant like the taxes on tobacco have become, then no. When taxes on cigarettes were something like 35 cents a pack, I don't remember smuggling being a large problem.

Cigarette smuggling has been going on since forever.
In the past it was a lower priority for authorities.

For example, individuals who, because of legitimate business travel or personal/family connections traveled from North Carolina or Virginia to New York City by personal auto maybe 3 or 4 times per year have often bought 15-20 cartons of cigarettes to sell to an acquaintance in the north who had the connections to resell on the street.

It's always existed at the organized crime level also, as thugs would hijack trucks en route to deliver pre-tax cigarettes headed from the south to markets in the northeast.

As the taxes increase in some states disproportionately the potential profits increase and it becomes more "institutionalized", more a focus of organized crime and enforcement.

Cavalry Doc
12-09-2012, 10:54
A primal instinct in humans....... Bargain hunting.

The Machinist
12-09-2012, 10:57
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimates that illegal cigarette sales cost local, state and federal governments nearly $10 billion a year.
That makes me happy. :supergrin:

kirgi08
12-09-2012, 11:22
Goodfellas.'08.

eracer
12-09-2012, 11:26
So legalizing and taxing weed *isn't* the answer?Hmmmm.......

High-quality weed is now $400/oz., all of which goes into the hands of criminals.

You'd prefer that?

snerd
12-09-2012, 11:33
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3Oom-_zwnNs/T193rmh2kXI/AAAAAAAAAYA/1_oPhnUCJmo/s1600/Prohibition.png

Could Obama Administration Ban Tobacco?

The working group’s vision, “a society free of tobacco-related death and disease,” morphs into an argument for prohibition. For example, the group quoted a 2007 study by the Institute of Medicine (here (http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11795)) which discussed “the ultimate goal of ending the tobacco problem in the United States.” They also cited a chapter in the 2007-2008 President’s Cancer Panel report (here (http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/annualReports/pcp07-08rpt/pcp07-08rpt.pdf)) titled “The Scourge of Tobacco in America Must End.” The chapter’s topline message is clearly abolitionist: “Ridding the nation of tobacco is the single most important action needed to dramatically reduce cancer mortality and morbidity. There is no substitute for this action if we are to eliminate the sickness and death caused by tobacco use.”
http://rodutobaccotruth.blogspot.com/2012/03/could-obama-administration-ban-tobacco.html

janice6
12-09-2012, 11:47
In 1957 I bought cigarettes from the Navy Sea Stores while outside the continental limits, for 10 cents a pack. "Some" would re-sell them for 25/35 cents a pack at home.

In Europe, one carton would get you the best looker for the whole evening. (pun intended)

Cigarettes have always been a medium of exchange. Wait for the Apocalypse.

Atlas
12-09-2012, 11:52
Goodfellas.'08.

Yep...

kenpoprofessor
12-09-2012, 12:02
In 1957 I bought cigarettes from the Navy Sea Stores while outside the continental limits, for 10 cents a pack. "Some" would re-sell them for 25/35 cents a pack at home.

In Europe, one carton would get you the best looker for the whole evening. (pun intended)

Cigarettes have always been a medium of exchange. Wait for the Apocalypse.

I know a few non smokers who used their rations to sell cigs to the locals for a few extra Lbs. The British taxed them so hard and we paid none, easy money baby.

Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day

Clyde

Cavalry Doc
12-09-2012, 12:37
In 1957 I bought cigarettes from the Navy Sea Stores while outside the continental limits, for 10 cents a pack. "Some" would re-sell them for 25/35 cents a pack at home.

In Europe, one carton would get you the best looker for the whole evening. (pun intended)

Cigarettes have always been a medium of exchange. Wait for the Apocalypse.

2004, a carton of cigarettes from a haji shop in Iraq ran you $4. Same cigarettes were $45 in the PX.

oldsoldier
12-09-2012, 12:46
If I'm not mistaken MO has the lowest cigarette tax in the nation at 17 cents per pack. An increase was voted down by the citizens last month. There are lots of advertisements along I44 for the Mule Tobacco Barn just east of Rolla, MO. It's outside city limits so no city tax on the cigarettes. The Tobacco Barn is right across the interstate from a large truck stop (same exit). It looks like the barn gets plenty of business.

dukeblue91
12-09-2012, 13:16
When growing up in Germany during the 60's through mid 80's we used to trade smoke and alcohol all the time.
It was quite a big business for many and a good supplement of personal stash for others.
When I was a kid we traded little airline style bottles of alcohol for smokes and peanut butter at the fences where the GI's were holding maneuvers and other training.

barbedwiresmile
12-09-2012, 15:14
Thank God for the black market. It's the only thing government does consistently well. (Create a 'black' market- without government, it's simply a 'market').

There's a lesson here for prohibitionists. But they will fail to find it.

kirgi08
12-09-2012, 15:20
Not really,it was there before any .gov.'08.

Sam Spade
12-09-2012, 16:37
Hmmmm.......

High-quality weed is now $400/oz., all of which goes into the hands of criminals.

You'd prefer that?

You're getting ripped off. I can grab a pound for $800, tops.

No, not ditch weed, either.

walt cowan
12-10-2012, 07:58
a state could see a billion dollar windfall (sales taxes) by just not placing any taxes or limits on amounts one could buy. folks from other states would beat a path to you state and spend tons of cash on food, fuel and lodging. simple and better than legal weed or gambling.

holesinpaper
12-10-2012, 11:17
So legalizing and taxing weed *isn't* the answer?

When the rate of taxation is high enough, it CREATES a black market.

Simple economics that applies to steak, milk, eggs, marijuana, alcohol, gasoline, etc.

The Maggy
12-10-2012, 11:41
2004, a carton of cigarettes from a haji shop in Iraq ran you $4. Same cigarettes were $45 in the PX.
They were most definitely not the same cigarettes. Those were stale, dried out, odd tasting knock offs in counterfeit packaging.

G29Reload
12-10-2012, 12:21
Pack o smokes goes for $10 in NYC and 4 in VA. Go figure.

Serves em right.

AndI'm saying this as someone who despises smoking. Don't, quit just after high school. Not allowed in my house or car. Smoke free workplace.

That said (c), smoking is a legal product. Either ban it and make it illegal, or leave it the hell alone. No other legal product save maybe liquor endures so much taxation abuse from government just because people like it and want it. The lawsuits are a joke, the taxes are obscene and illegal as far as I'm concerned because it creates a special class.

Make it illegal, or leave it the hell alone. I'lltake the latter considering what happened in prohibition.

Booker
12-10-2012, 15:52
I know a few non smokers who used their rations to sell cigs to the locals for a few extra Lbs. The British taxed them so hard and we paid none, easy money baby.

Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day

Clyde

True, When I turned 16 in the UK I was given my first ration card. Overnight I started to "consume" my full ration of four cartons a month.:supergrin:

BORNGEARHEAD
12-10-2012, 20:15
Smokes are over $6/pack here in Wi. I remember Marlboros were $19/carton on our cruise ship a few yrs. back. Goodfellas it is.

series1811
12-12-2012, 08:20
Well, the people who say to legalize drugs and tax them, know this would never happen with drugs. Because the people who sell them are so much more law abiding than the people who sell cigarettes.

In fact, I'm not sure this story could even be true, because cigarettes are legal, and nobody illegally traffics in goods that are legal. :whistling:

pugman
12-12-2012, 09:59
A pack of Marlboro Reds is $6.74 at my local convenience store; so with sales tax it runs about $7.25? Friends who smoke have told me shops no longer offer a carton discount.

My MIL's Virginia slims at the local grocery store cost her $18.74/2 packs.

My sister lives in Cape Girardeau, MO. When I moved them down there a couple of Augusts ago IIRC a pack of Marb Reds were $3 something?

I can drive down to see her, pick up a dozen cartons come back here, sell them and pay for my gas, all the meals on the road and still have enough for a night out with Mrs Pugman

I know the solution...Nationalize Cigerette sales....man I should have been a politican

Atlas
12-12-2012, 10:05
...
I can drive down to see her, pick up a dozen cartons come back here, sell them and pay for my gas, all the meals on the road and still have enough for a night out with Mrs Pugman
...


Speaking hypothetically, of course.

pugman
12-12-2012, 12:27
Speaking hypothetically, of course.

Of course.

Transporting cigerettes across state lines in greater than personal use volume is illegal.

railfancwb
12-18-2012, 12:24
you'd think they would, but, it appears the average politician/govt employee isn't as bright as they like to tell us they are.

On the contrary...prohibition creates wonderful sources of tax-free income for them, and they know it. Something they learned from alcohol...else why did MJ and other recreational drugs become illegal after the 21st amendment without bothering to amend the Constitution again.


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evlbruce
12-18-2012, 12:52
They were most definitely not the same cigarettes. Those were stale, dried out, odd tasting knock offs in counterfeit packaging.

Back when the cartels where using cigs to launder drug money, you could buy real McCoys for $.25 on the $1 from S. America or E. Europe.

Taxes are such that genuine Marlboros are a third the price in Mexico as they are here.

BicycleDay43
12-18-2012, 13:00
Just picked up 2 packs of Marlboro Black 100's for $10.04 last night here in Albuquerque. Smoking is an expensive habit.

Sent from the Duke City using OHM

certifiedfunds
12-18-2012, 13:00
Of course.

Transporting cigerettes across state lines in greater than personal use volume is illegal.

And if it is illegal, it is WRONG.

railfancwb
01-14-2013, 11:47
Not everything wrong is illegal; not everything illegal is wrong.

230404


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kirgi08
01-14-2013, 12:07
Till youse get caught.'08.