Tag Archives: cigarette taxes

States are Collecting Back Cigarette Taxes from Online Retailers

Chances are good you will be getting a letter in the mail if you bought cigarettes online trying to avoid paying the high taxes on them.

States including Connecticut are doing just that. According to their web site, “The Jenkins Act requires, that out-of-state retailers report the transactions.”

Yes this means all the retailers that sold cigarettes must share their records so that letters can go out to all customers who did not pay the tax on the products sold.

Tax Revenue Collections on Unstamped Cigarettes

Unstamped Cigarettes Uncollected TaxesThe state of Connecticut is serious about collecting this revenue from unstamped cigarettes that were sold from 2007-2008 along with any interest that has accrued.

File Form, AU-75 is the form to be filled out and filed. If this form is not filed, you will receive a tax bill for the purchases made according to the Department of Revenue Services for the State of Connecticut.

Smoking is a habit that keeps you paying out over and over again. The cost is high and there is no real way to avoid paying the high taxes associated with the habit.

The State of Connecticut is out to collect what is owed. The cost of smoking cannot be circumvented and will boomerang right back to your pocketbook.

The tax on the tobacco products is bad enough, but so is the increase to health insurance, life insurance etc. The negative health risks associated with smoking, the added pressure on your monthly budget, and the social inconveniences outweigh any illusionary gains from the habit.

Credit to: DRS to Bill Online Cigarettes

Way to Go California – 1 800 No Butts at Your Service

California’s Example Provides Encouragement that Smokers Can Stop

Today in the LA Times, it was reported that the use of cigarettes in California is steadily declining.

Smoking statistics for adults have dropped since California passed a twenty-five cent tax on each pack of cigarettes.

Cigarette Taxes Encourage Quitting Smoking

The decline of adult smokers in California is at forty-one percent since the new tax, reported by data from the Department of Public Health.

pic-cigarette-notThis is great news and offers hope that the newly-passed government cigarette tax may just stop many smokers in their tracks.

Eric Bailey, from the LA Times states, “Anti-smoking advocates are celebrating this week’s 20th anniversary of California’s groundbreaking tobacco-control effort by releasing new data showing that cigarette use is continuing its steep decline in the Golden State.”

Last year only thirteen percent of California adults were addicted to cigarettes, which is a ten percent decrease since 1988. Another encouraging bit of data is the decline in youth smokers, which is currently a little over fourteen percent and one of the lowest percentages in the entire nation.

Way to go California!

No If’s or Butt’s About It

For those smokers who are wanting to quit, try calling the 1 800 No Butts quit smoking help line. Calls are currently up twenty-five percent since last year. This is another example that people are seriously considering the health hazards of smoking and the cost of their cigarette habits.

Our hats go off to 1 800 No Butts. Kimberly Belshe, Secretary of California’s Health and Human Services Agency, reported the estimates of lives saved through this program the last twenty years is as high as one million and over eighty-six billion dollars in health care expenses.

Credit for this article goes to the LA Times
For more information contact eric.bailey @ latimes.com

Watch a Short Video From California’s 1-800-No-Butts

 

The Winners and Losers – Largest Tobacco Tax Increase

It wasn’t so long ago that Measure 50 was put before a people’s vote in the state of Oregon.

If it had passed, Oregon would have received 85 cents from each pack of cigarettes sold in the state, with the funds marked for children’s health care programs (and other important programs needing funding in the state).

Unfortunately, Big Tobacco’s manipulative tactics and deep pockets sponsored heavy negative campaigns funded by over 11 million dollars donated from the major tobacco companies. They won by swaying the vote.

Tobacco Tax Increase, Largest in History

Today was a historical day. The government passed the largest cigarette tax increase in the history of tobacco taxes. With the passing of this new tax, Big Tobacco lost and the people won.

Most of the revenue created from the new tax will go toward children’s health care. Values are shifting, and steps are being taken to support our children.

This increase brings the federal cigarette tax from 39 cents a pack to $1.01 and it applies to all tobacco products.

Winners and Losers

Lighting UpThe only real loser is Big Tobacco.

Unfortunately, you will hear those who wish to protect Big Tobacco say, “Obama is breaking his promise not to raise taxes.”

Another complaint expressing victimization is: “The majority of smokers are those who are low to middle income. They cannot afford a tax increase in the current economic climate.”

The fact is, people have a choice to smoke or not to smoke. If they don’t want to pay the tax, then they can stop smoking. Perhaps this is just the push they need to finally quit smoking.

Here’s one response to the tax increase quoted in USA Today:

“I’m going to quit,” said Will Hues, 27, smoking a cigarette outside the convenience store. He said prices have gone up so much that “you’re out of your mind to pay it.”

Responses like Mr. Hues’ are some of the best news for those who advocate life. Currently, every eight seconds someone in the world dies from a tobacco-related disease. That is equivalent to twenty-seven 747 airplanes full of passengers crashing every day. Perhaps we will have one less daily crash with this tax increase. The lives saved are not just numbers, but people who will go on to live a better quality life and be able to spend it with their loved ones.

So, if you are one of those who are complaining, then consider moving to South Carolina. The combined state and federal tobacco taxes in SC are only $1.08.

If you have a family member you are trying to get to quit smoking, then you might want to look at relocating to either Rhode Island or New York. These two states have the highest tobacco taxes. Rhode Island’s combined tobacco taxes are $3.47 and New York’s $3.76.

Today is a victory for living a healthy and long life.

One Smoker’s Advice to Teens: Add up the Costs of Cigarettes

While most adults would counsel the greatest negative involved with smoking cigarettes is increased risk of lung cancer.

This truth is far away in the minds of most young smokers, they tend to not even think about it.

So, if you’re a teen smoker and “not afraid” of lung cancer, just think about the following here-and-now downsides to smoking.

They should be more than enough to convince you to quit.

Nicotine Addiction Facts

Nicotine is considered the most addictive substance known to man, and the longer you smoke, the more powerful your addiction becomes. It is much easier for a smoker of a few years to overcome nicotine addiction than for someone who has smoked for decades. Quit now, while it’s still fairly easy to do. You will never regret the decision.

Your Supporting the Tax Man

Unfair (but life itself is not fair, as you are just now learning), cigarettes are an easy target for tax revenue generation. Because of money grubbing politicians and sheep-like citizens, the price of a pack increases constantly and exponentially – and that trend is guaranteed to continue. If you think it’s financially painful to support your habit today with the cost of a pack at more than $4, just imagine how badly your bank account will suffer when that pack costs $10 or more a decade from now.

Nicotine Normalcy Habit

Think about what nicotine provides you: Your first few smokes gave you a very short, very minor high. While that was certainly interesting, you should realize by now that as your body has become addicted to nicotine, the only “benefit” you’re provided by the drug is a feeling of normalcy. Think hard about this one: You’re paying money for a drug that does nothing, other than allowing you to feel normal – allowing you to obtain the exact same state of normalcy that non-smokers obtain without doing anything, or paying any money. Now is that stupid, or what?

Do the Math

Break out your calculator and punch in the following numbers for a smoker who starts in 2008 and continues for four decades: 40 years x 365 days x average of 1.5 packs per day x average of $8 per pack (I’m being conservative on the average price; in reality, it will probably be even greater) = $175,200.

That’s no typo: $175,200. Think about what you could do with $175,000! You like boats? How about a 40-foot live-aboard ocean sailboat? Cars? You could buy four brand-new Corvettes. Or a very high-performance airplane, or 50 percent of a beautiful home, or a business, or medical/law school, or…

Teen Cost of SmokingOr…you could just buy cigarettes. And feel normal. Just like a non-smoker feels. All for the low, low price of just $175,200.

Quit while it’s still easy, and take all the pennies you used to spend on smokes and throw ’em in a big jar. It would only take a few years before you could buy the first of your four Corvettes.

Source:  The Reporter in Letters to the Editor, Paul Domeier, Coarsegold

R. J. Reynolds Backs Campaign Against Tobacco Tax Hike

Cigarette tax proposal would change tax from 7 cents per pack to 30-50 cents if the plan passes.

However,  the country’s second-largest cigarette company is an anonymous backer of a campaign opposing a bill to raise South Carolina’s lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax.

The message began showing up in mailboxes last week — 10,000 postcards sent to Republican activists by the S.C. Association of Taxpayers.

The postcards express concern about a proposed plan to raise the state’s cigarette tax, now 7 cents per pack, to between 30 and 50 cents per pack.

Some legislators have suggested the new tax revenue could go toward providing employers tax credits to buy employee health insurance.

Featuring a graph showing a “$190 million unfunded taxpayer mandate,” the postcards ask voters to “stop this HillaryCare styled welfare plan.”

Several state Senate staffers said the chart on the postcards is the same chart that R.J. Reynolds lobbyists showed some state senators in recent weeks. The postcard also warns that the “hospital industry and insurance company special interests want Legislators to raise your taxes!”

“We just have issues with what they’re talking about,” said Don Weaver, president of the S.C. Association of Taxpayers. “A lot of people don’t realize what this program will do.”

The association is a private group that often takes corporate donations, Weaver said. The group is best known for giving out its annual “Friend of the Taxpayer” award.

Supporters of the insurance plan, known as the “Covering Carolina Collaborative,” say the postcards distort the plan to expand health insurance options in the state and its cost.

“We got some donations,” Weaver said, when asked if R.J. Reynolds paid for the postcards. “We get a lot of corporate donations, let’s put it that way.”

R.J. Reynolds declined to comment for this article.

Tax MapIn past years, R.J. Reynolds was at the forefront of the cigarette-tax debate, hosting events and urging those opposed to increasing the tax to call lawmakers. R.J. Reynolds’ views are different from that of the top-selling cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, which supports a small tax increase.

Supporters of raising the tax to provide health insurance, including the S.C. Hospital Association, said the postcards misrepresent the proposal.

Patti Smoak, spokeswoman for the S.C. Hospital Association, said the options offered in the Covering Carolina Collaborative would depend on the state’s ability to pay for them.

Although the hospital group is not advocating a cigarette tax hike, it is logical that smokers help pay health care costs caused by smoking, Smoak said.

It is unclear when the Senate will vote on the tax, which has not been increased since 1977.

Source: John O’Connor The (Columbia) State

Tobacco May Kill 1 Billion in This Century, WHO Says

Tobacco use will kill 1 billion people in this century.

This is a 10-fold increase over the past 100 years, unless governments in poor nations raise taxes on consumption and mandate health warnings, the World Health Organization said.

No country fully implements these most important tobacco – control measures, according to a 330-page report released today by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Geneva-based UN agency.

Bloomberg, who helped fund the study, joined WHO Director-General Margaret Chan at a news conference in New York to discuss the findings. “This is a unique point in public health history as the forces of political will, policies and funding are aligned to create the momentum needed to dramatically reduce tobacco use and save millions of lives by the middle of this century,” Chan said in a foreword to the report.

The WHO said the tobacco “epidemic causes the deaths of 5.4 million people a year due to lung cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. That figure might rise to 8 million per year by 2030, including 80 percent in countries whose rapidly growing economies offer their citizens the hope of a better life,” the report said.

American States

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, said states are falling short on U.S. recommendations to boost insurance coverage of proven anti-smoking treatments that fight nicotine addiction.

The Atlanta-based U.S. government agency said eight states’ Medicaid programs, which serve the poor, fail to reimburse for any tobacco-dependence programs, and only Oregon covered them all. About 35 percent of Medicaid patients are smokers, it said.

Tobacco is the “single most preventable cause of death” in the world, the WHO said. Yet governments in low-and middle- income countries that collect $66.5 billion in taxes from the sale of tobacco products spend only $14 million on anti-smoking measures, and 95 percent of the world’s population is unprotected by the type of anti-smoking laws Bloomberg has pushed in New York.

Commitment Sought

“Now for the first time ever we have reliable data, a system of analysis and clear standards to promote accountability,” Bloomberg said of the report, which examines tobacco use in 179 countries.  “What we are still missing is a strong commitment from government leaders, but we believe this report will empower more leaders to act.”

Bloomberg, 65, the billionaire founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, announced in 2006 he intended to donate $125 million to worldwide smoking-cessation efforts.

Bloomberg’s Health Department has made fighting tobacco use its top priority, enforcing age limits on smoking, distributing free nicotine patches and chewing gum though the city’s 311 telephone information number and producing television ads featuring a former smoker who lost his voice to throat cancer at age 39.

The Health Department reported in January that teenage cigarette use has been cut by half — to one in six teenagers — since Bloomberg became New York City’s mayor in 2002. That year, he persuaded the state legislature to ban smoking in indoor workplaces including bars and restaurants. He also fought for and won a cigarette tax increase of $1.50 that lifted the average price to about $7 per pack.

Role of Taxes

Smoking Pink LipstickThe WHO said raising taxes was the most effective way to reduce tobacco use, noting that a 70 percent increase would prevent a quarter of all tobacco-related deaths.

The report cites a 2001 study titled “Critical Issues in Global Health,” by epidemiologists Richard Peto and A. D. Lopez, edited by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, as support for the assertion that population and smoking trends during the next several decades might lead to as many as 1 billion lives lost to smoking.

China, the world’s largest producer and consumer of tobacco, was highlighted by the UN agency. Almost 60 percent of men smoke cigarettes in China, compared with 21 percent in the U.S. At the same time, the report cited a survey that said most urban residents of China support a ban on tobacco advertising, higher tobacco taxes and smoke-free public places.

David Howard, a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which reported $8.5 billion in U.S. sales of brands such as Camel, Kool and Pall Mall cigarettes, said his company has expressed “the very clear opinion that smoking causes serious diseases.”

The company, owned by Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Reynolds American Inc., continues its sales efforts, Howard said, because “there are about 45 million adults who are aware of the risks and have made the conscious decision to use tobacco products, and it’s a legal product.”

Source: By Henry Goldman and Bill Varner, Bloomberg [02-07-08]

Tobacco Industry Puts Profits Before Kids in Defeating Oregon Ballot Initiative

Statement of William V. Corr, Executive Director, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Tobacco or Kids? Who has values?

Washington, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — By telling $12 million worth of lies, the Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds tobacco companies have again protected their profits at the expense of children.

By defeating a ballot initiative to increase Oregon’s cigarette tax and fund health care for children it is pretty evident where big tobacco stands.

The tobacco companies will profit by selling more cigarettes, while Oregonians will pay a terrible price with more kids addicted to tobacco, more lives lost and more kids without health care.

Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds opposed this initiative because they know that increasing the cigarette tax is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among children, and they also know that the public strongly supports increasing the cigarette tax.

These tobacco companies knew they couldn’t win by arguing against the cigarette tax increase, so they spent a record $12 million to change the subject and deceive the voters of Oregon. In fact, the tobacco companies made this election about anything but the cigarette tax increase, which is the one issue they truly cared about.

Throughout the campaign, media reports regularly exposed the industry’s deceptive tactics, including the creation of an industry-funded front group — Oregonians Against the Blank Check; RJR’s distribution of a mass-mailed letter that appeared to come from a first-grade teacher, but was mailed from the office of the company’s lobbyist; and false claims in TV ads.

The tobacco companies’ ads falsely claimed that the money raised would not be spent on children’s health care and manufactured controversy about amending the Oregon Constitution despite the fact it has similarly been amended many times (and the tobacco companies themselves have proposed constitutional amendments in other states).

The $12 million spent by Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds more than doubled the previous record for an Oregon ballot initiative and was nearly four times what proponents of the initiative spent. Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds should be held accountable for the high cost in health, lives and money that the people of Oregon will pay.

Because this measure was defeated, 29,000 more kids will become smokers, 13,000 lives will be lost to tobacco-caused disease, and Oregon will pay $662 million more in long-term health care costs. In addition, more than 100,000 deserving Oregon children will go without the health coverage Measure 50 would have provided.

Image of KidsThe Oregon outcome does not change the fact that the public strongly supports increasing tobacco taxes. National and state polls across the country show overwhelming support for tobacco tax increases — support that extends across party lines, from smokers and non-smokers alike, throughout
all regions.

Since Jan. 1, 2002, 44 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have increased their cigarette tax rates more than 75 times — more than doubling the national average cigarette tax from 43.4 cents to $1.09 a pack. Increasing federal and cigarette taxes remains one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among kids, and the public will continue to support it.

Source: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Measure 50 Fails in Oregon

Measure 50 would have raised the tax on a pack of cigarettes by 85 cents to pay for children’s health care and other programs in Oregon.

Don’t let this failure for the health of Oregon’s children lead you to believe that Big Tobacco will always win.

There will always be web sites like Ciggyfree to point out how Big Tobacco manipulates people, our land, our air, and even rewires our brains.

Tobacco addiction is the intention of this industry which in turn reduces the quality of all human life on our planet — all for the sake of padding the selfish coffers of their corporate greed.

CoveringShame on YOU BIG TOBACCO and shame on those who support Big Tobacco.
You are all a bunch of moraless souls putting profits above the value of life.

Are You ‘For Sale’ on Measure 50 in Oregon

Big Tobacco is sweating this one out after poison-nicotine profits supply $12 millions for subverting Oregon voters.

That old cliche “The nation’s eyes are on you” is quite literally true for Tuesday’s vote. 

Big Tobacco has been forced to wreak out the largest bribe-run of political-ad monies in Oregon’s history, with $12 millions already spent.

Campaign contributions alone may have set up this sequence by providing confrontation within the Legislature, but true-decision still remains right where it should be – with the citizens themselves.

Right or wrong, Oregon’s response may well shape up first the Congressional action on SCHIP –national children’s health insurance– and then foreshadow final action for universal health insurance in this nation, too.

What we DO, here-and-now, will then have strong impact on upcoming rapid decisions for universal health care at the two basic-levels/demanded very soon.

Oregon may very literally lead the nation on this consummately consequential vote.

That fact is making many Oregonians face up irrevocably to their own conscience as they contemplate a very simple choice:

Cheerleader PictureVOTE NO – resoundingly defying and denying the money power never more manipulative -applied than by Big Tobacco, or be side-tracked into submission-AGAIN by the slickly-contrived ads, concentrated on cooking the facts to pervert votes by clearly-crooked presentations-everywhere; with repetition and wide release the keys to subversion of the well known public will.

THINK-again before you act, if you are on the fence over this one.

That expensive flood of tv ads, thrown up over and over again on every Oregon screen, distorts and perverts the actual realities involved here.

That headlong lie in the face of truth is commonplace and always concentrated by the Big T. side; made entirely evident by the rapid-response rebuttal with fact and authoritative statement from supporters of this historic measure.

Well known to those paid profusely to provide propaganda-results, the Big Lie that is repeated provocatively, piled high in every media channel, and pronounced proper-truth by paid authoritative persons– is simply standard procedure since there is nothing else left to provide.

That distorting/perverting overwhelming necessity for Big Tobacco is proven very prominently –over and over again, for all to see and understand– by the extremely revealing list of sponsors supplying the working-dollars for all those ads.

FOR this measure lists every conceivable public-health/service group and working organization; while Opposing lists ONLY Big Tobacco firms, and the ostensibly-local (and surely well-paid !) Big T. servant group necessary to submit the ads.

Huge impacts of nicotine-poison lifetime peonage and permanent lung damage leading to premature death are too solidly and broadly on the public record to be ignored.

In fact that has become such a well known legal fact-of-life that it is widely cited as strong precedent in any new confrontation, as in damage suits now in process covering defective voting machines –surely an ironic note here!

Today everyone knows a relative or friend or associate already so stricken– and now dehumanized by despair and depression– while awaiting a painful death, proven by the millions already so removed.

The danger is not only for smokers but for others whose atmosphere is irrevocably also permeated and poisoned by the irresponsible actions of those so-addicted they are made regardless of decencies and consideration for others.

Those consequences of getting hooked are so widely known that nowadays anyone –even a small/business-owner retailing them– must be keenly aware of what those profits really cost: Irresponsible damage to human life, peddled for pennies of profit by ANYone pandering to the propaganda and pressing approach of Big Tobacco.

Wonder what those-so-involved will answer when their growing child, keyed and informed by education and society generally, will, finally, ask: Why did you sell that poisonous stuff, Daddy?

That same question may well surface (and surely should !) within the family circle of those providing the perverted propaganda so widely seen-and-heard on every Oregon tv-news station and via radio, too.

For those who find themselves involved in helping supply that nicotine-poison today there is only one answer –the same one for any other such poisonous substance on sale once it is clearly and unmistakably so discovered: NO LONGER from me, now that I KNOW the truth.

That ID, infinitely deadly – was made centuries ago, has been known ever since, and was never, ever, allowed to interfere with profit-taking no matter what human costs were concerned.

Our American slavery era, built on Big Tobacco colonial-produced profits, was wiped away only by one of the world’s most excruciating national spasms, costing our struggling nation many deaths and many millions in war costs –with that same war continuing to this very day, in pursuit of the same high levels of profit promised and produced by the absolutely addictive capture always consequential to any personal use.

Those social, cultural, economic and political damages are STILL far from cleared away with ongoing consequences still excruciatingly painful to millions. They carry with them extreme healthcare costs clearly consequential both for smokers and those caught in their miasma.

Those facts are too solidly and surely fully on record –and now too widely circulated to provide conscience-clear continuance for ANYone pursuing further pandering-for-profit from this universally-dangerous nicotine-poison.

Unfair to currently-caught smokers ? WHEN has it ever been unfair to snatch away poison from the hand about to imbibe?

Unwise to add enforcement to Oregon’s Constitution ? WHY, when we have been doing so, in one way or another, ever since 1902?

Oregon’s citizens have long been known for their wit, wisdom and will –so much so I need not even cite examples, well known to most. Will we now prove up that prolonged and continuing protocol?

YOURS may be THE VERY VOTE –with others– to DO THIS JOB NOW in stopping Big Tobacco cold and commensurately censored.

Let’s send them away seething, and make them seek somewhere else to recoup their rapidly-departing power from profits produced, not-so-purely, from poisons provided the unthinking public.

Source:

Click here to learn more about Big Tobacco

Tobacco Campaign Tops Record $11 million (Oregonian)

The tobacco money against Oregon’s Measure 50’s proposed cigarette tax increase keeps piling in.

Philip Morris has donated another $1.1 million to the campaign, putting total contributions to that effort over $11 million.

Philip Morris, the Richmond, Virginia,-based maker of Marlboro cigarettes, and its parent company have donated $6.9 million to Stop The Measure 50 Tax Hike. Reynolds American, the maker of Camels, has contributed $4.8 million to another committee opposing the proposal, Oregonians Against The Blank Check.

Kids Versus CigarettesMeasure 50 would raise cigarette taxes by 85 cents a pack and Oregon could use the money for children’s health insurance and other health programs.

The campaign supporting the measure, Yes on the Healthy Kids Plan, has reported raising and spending $3.2 million so far. The proposal is one of two statewide measures on the Nov. 6 vote-by-mail ballot.

Only one campaign for or against a statewide ballot measure had ever topped $7 million in contributions in inflation-adjusted dollars, according to Democracy Reform Oregon, which monitors campaign finance activity. That was a 1992 effort against two measures proposing to shut down and close the Trojan nuclear power plant, which raised just more than $7 million in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Source: The Oregonian, davehogan@news.oregonian.com — Dave Hogan

Click to learn more about >Philip Morris