Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

New Hot Contraband: Cigarettes

Discussion in 'Political Issues' started by Ruble Noon, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Ruble Noon

    Ruble Noon "Cracker"

    Feb 18, 2009
    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.”
  2. QNman

    QNman resU deretsigeR Silver Member

    Oct 5, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    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".

  3. At one time - and possible still - Indian reservations had no cigarette taxes...local, state, or federal. Made Cherokee NC a booming export center.

    Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  4. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

    Oct 1, 2001
    north of the equator
    Not exactly new, but with the extreme increases in tax in recent years, an increase in smuggling was predictable.
  5. 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

  6. jakebrake

    jakebrake cracker

    Jan 11, 2011
    too close to philly
    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.
  7. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    So legalizing and taxing weed *isn't* the answer?


    Mar 8, 2010
    I knew you would figure it out Sam, legalize it with no extra taxes.

    Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  9. Ruble Noon

    Ruble Noon "Cracker"

    Feb 18, 2009

    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.
  10. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

    Oct 1, 2001
    north of the equator
    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.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  11. Cavalry Doc

    Cavalry Doc MAJ (USA Ret.)

    Feb 22, 2005
    Republic of Texas
    A primal instinct in humans....... Bargain hunting.
  12. The Machinist

    The Machinist No Compromise

    Sep 20, 2009
    The Left Coast
    That makes me happy. :supergrin:
  13. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
  14. eracer

    eracer Where's my EBT?

    Apr 5, 2011
    Tampa, FL

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

    You'd prefer that?
  15. snerd


    Apr 20, 2007

    Could Obama Administration Ban Tobacco?
  16. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    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.
  17. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

    Oct 1, 2001
    north of the equator
  18. 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

  19. Cavalry Doc

    Cavalry Doc MAJ (USA Ret.)

    Feb 22, 2005
    Republic of Texas
    2004, a carton of cigarettes from a haji shop in Iraq ran you $4. Same cigarettes were $45 in the PX.
  20. oldsoldier


    Jun 22, 2008
    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.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012