Welcome to the Nanny States of America; Part Two. In the first part of this series on tobacco tyranny, I painted a broad historical picture. In this installment, I'm going to get more granular and address some of the more salient points regarding the use of taxes on tobacco, the structures placed upon we tobacco users, plus a couple of the regulations we are heretofore forced to comply with.Let us start with the smoking bans: Like many movements the smoking ban seemed to start in California beginning with their original cry of “…to save the children.” Like Paul Revere shouting the “British are coming” the “It’s for the children” was heard across the country.
Who would not want to save a child? Don’t get me wrong: I am all for saving the children. And let's admit it, some marketing of tobacco products were questionable as to their intended target audience.
Having moved from the mother’s love of an international ‘big tobacco’ job at Gallaher, to the aggressive, tactical point-and-shoot “small-fish” job as a small snus company director in Scandinavia (Taboca AS), I now find myself in Russia. Again.
Russia, for me, is where my career started. I studied the language in the 1980s at school and at Georgetown University, traveling to the then USSR first as a wide-eyed teenage tourist in 1982, and then as full-fledged student of Russian for a semester in 1985.
In discussions on-line about the impending PACT act becoming law, it has become obvious that American snusers feel they are getting a raw deal.
In a sense, American consumers of Swedish snus have been basking in a "duty-free" zone for the past few years, many weening themselves from cigarettes in the process. Your lungs, God and the Greater Good think this is wonderful. The US Government does not. Tobacco is taxed. Period.
Swedish snus consumers in the USA will eventually be forced to pay taxes on their snus purchases. They will most likely see in the next few years an increase in availability in US 'bricks & mortar' shops, and a drastically reduced portfolio. No more Gotlands Julesnus or Offroad Limited Edition 'Spam with Egg, Bacon, Sausage and Spam' Flavor, for sure. But that's another article.
Many have poo-pooed an underlying reason for the passage of this legislation: smuggling as a source of funds for terrorist groups. Many have laughed that this is as ludicrous as the 'for the children' banter which has led to a lot of pain for legitimate adult tobacco consumers now unable to procure their favorite flavored smokes.
Kennedy/Waxman, S. 982, HR 1256; all very innocuous names for one of the most destructive bills to American Health Care which ever slithered through Congress. Lets call this legislation by it's Official title: Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act. Really, I'm not making that up. It is the Official title of the Kennedy/Waxman legislation.
I'm not even sure why it is called Kennedy/Waxman anyway. Both Bills were substantially written by Philip Morris USA and extremist group Tobacco Free Kids. Add the US Congress which will pass both bills overwhelmingly and we have a NEW Axis of Evil.
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