High Taxes: The Root of Violence

From: Cato Institute

Jeff Sessions Misunderstands Drugs and Crime

By David Boaz


Tobacco has not (yet) been prohibited in the United States. But as a Cato study of the New York cigarette market showed in 2003, high taxes can have similar effects:

Over the decades, a series of studies by federal, state, and city officials has found that high taxes have created a thriving illegal market for cigarettes in the city. That market has diverted billions of dollars from legitimate businesses and governments to criminals.

A Bad Time to Lose Jobs: Cigarette Manufacturing has Gone Up In Smoke

From: The Edge Markets

The State of the Nation: A bad time to lose jobs

Ben Shane Lim / The Edge Malaysia

MALAYSIAN cigarette manufacturing has gone up in smoke.

Last week, JT International Bhd (JTI Malaysia) announced that it would shutter its cigarette production plant in Shah Alam and with it, about 270 jobs (held mostly by locals). . . .


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Response to Ontario Budget – Need for Comprehensive Plan to Address Illegal Tobacco Market

From: Ontario Convenience Stores Association

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) was disappointed that the recent Ontario budget did not include a comprehensive, holistic solution to the growing threat of illegal tobacco. While the government did announce an increase to the tobacco tax, this increase is just a band aid – while the legal tobacco market will pay it, the increase will do nothing to address the disturbingly high levels of growth seen in the contraband market in recent years.

“Growth in Ontario’s illegal tobacco trade has been enormous, and we fear the situation will only get worse unless action is taken,” said OCSA CEO Dave Bryans.

Illicit cigarettes: Beef up enforcement first, Fomca tells Putrajaya

From: The Malay Mail Online

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — Strong enforcement is needed to ensure the effectiveness of any law aimed at curbing contraband cigarettes, the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) said today.

Its president Datuk Paul Selva Raj welcomed the federal government’s announcement to strengthen the Customs Act 1967 to crack down on those found selling smuggled cigarettes, saying weak enforcement would drive the trade deeper underground.

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From: Malaysia-Bodoh.com

emily mc

THE numbers have reached a staggering level. For every two cigarettes smoked in Malaysia, one is an illicit cigarette.

In other words, the share of the cigarette black market has reached 57.1 per cent as at December 2016, based on Nielsen Cigarette Study 2016.

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Organised crime syndicates smuggling ‘low risk’ tobacco leaf and cigarettes into Australia

From: Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog


“Those who were sending drugs are now involved, because the profit is there. We will recognise the mail coming through as being from the same criminal syndicate … over the last 12 months with tobacco we are actually seeing the exporters using the methodologies we would normally see with drugs.”


Most of the illicit cigarettes, some of which ends up on the shelves of legitimate corner shops, is from South Korea, Japan, China and Hong Kong while loose leaf is mostly from Indonesia and the Middle East.

BAT may close South Africa cigarette plant

From: Business Report

Thembisile Dzonzi and Loni Prinsloo

Johannesburg – British American Tobacco said it may close South Africa’s only cigarette plant if plans to ban branded tobacco packaging are implemented.


Plain packaging threatens the closure of the factory and “poses a threat to the viability of the legal tobacco industry in South Africa,” Heshu said. The move will make it harder to distinguish the cigarettes from black-market cigarettes and “the illegal market will benefit from having a cheaper product,” he said.

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The Effect Of Excise Taxes On Cigarette Smuggling In Wisconsin

From: Wisconsin Public Radio

Tax On A Pack Of Cigarettes Is $2.52 In Wisconsin, Making It The 10th Highest In US

By Shamane Mills

A national nonprofit that wants lower taxes on cigarettes says the high cost encourages smuggling. But health groups say higher taxes reduce cigarette sales and discourage smoking. Caught in between are smokers who pay the taxes and states that rely on that revenue.


But the national Tax Foundation, a tax policy nonprofit, likens high cigarette taxes to de facto prohibition. They say the higher the taxes, the more likely people are to buy cigarettes in areas with lower taxes and bring them across state lines for sales and consumption.

California’s Gift to Its Neighbors: Expanded Cigarette Smuggling Opportunities

From: Reason.com

They even opened the door to tax-avoiding e-cigarettes!

For too many years, Arizona has led the pack—or at least taxed the hell out of it—with among the higher cigarette taxes in the West. “A cigarette tax higher than in neighboring states and cheaper prices on American Indian reservations have helped fuel a growing black market for cigarettes in Arizona,” the Cronkite News Service reported in 2014.

Tax lost to illegal smokes beats tax gained by legal pot

From: Toronto Sun | Opinion



This Deal of the Century, by the way, also, gave First Nations manufacturers access to importing all the new leaf tobacco and inputs — machinery, foil, et cetera — that allows them to produce high-quality cigarettes uninterrupted and unimpeded.

The result, of course, is that Canada is now swamped with illegal cigarettes because, with price-point being of significant importance, why would a person addicted to cigarettes pay $100-plus for a heavily-taxed carton at a convenience store when a carton can be bought on a reserve for $35?