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WV.Germania left this comment on the post NY Smokers Pay Highest Tax: $2.75 Per Pack

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“The taxes are just getting out of hand! What is really sad, I am now seeing matching State Taxes being enacted inline with Federal Taxes too, hence doubling the tax. This is insanity!
If this is going to be the case, tax items that are considered harmful to people, where is the Twinkie Tax, The out of shape tax, per mile driven on an auto tax, The McDonalds Big Mac Tax, The snack food tax, “NOT TAKING A BATH DAILY TAX” etc…

“Just more excuses to shame others as a means to ‘STEAL’ “WE THE PEOPLE’s” money so that Washington can continue Michelle Obama’s weekly Wednesday Ball Parties and B. Obama’s upgrades to his new Pimp Airship almost daily flights around the nation (formally known as AF-1).

“My main question, all of these extra tax dollars were to also go to help pay for alternative energy programs, in the signed Law. People ask your states where they are using said money! In my region, they are using the money for when the govenor’s get out of office – to have new Governor Structures built to house themselves, their private libraries, and yes, even provide “FREE” installation of Solar and Wind Energy source projects to their corporate backers!

“While at the same time, our War Veterans are now having to bear even more war related injury expense’s out of their own pockets! The state lotto’s that were once to help with this program, well as is the norm, the money was given over to other government programs – i.e. Government Pay Raises, Government 100% insurance coverage “FOR LIFE, ” etc…

“THIS IS ONE BIG SCAM and the majority of the American People were lead just like sheep to the alter!
And if ‘The People’ think it is ending just here, you best get out and do some reading on your State Leg. boards that are voting for even more taxes in each state – you will be shocked!

“And those little World War 2 Victory Gardens our grandparents planted to help make ends meet, “YES” those are up to be taxed also! Our county Tax assessor was just here 3 days ago to see if I had plowed up any ground and was projecting a garden. My neighbor did, and the size of of the plowed grow was measured and noted now as being “DEVELOPED” property for “FOOD TAXATION!

“Just make sure you close the bathroom door when you go inside, that will be next!”

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Source: Courier Journal

WASHINGTON — A bill giving the federal Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products appears headed for House passage.

By a vote of 38-12 yesterday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the landmark legislation — the first time any House panel has voted for such a measure.

Eleven Republicans joined the committee’s Democrats in voting for the measure. Five of those lawmakers, including Rep. Baron Hill, D-9th District, Indiana, were from tobacco-producing districts.

With 220 co-sponsors from both parties and others who are now behind the bill, the legislation’s prospects are bright in the House.

A similar measure, with 56 co-sponsors, is awaiting action by the Senate.

Under the measure, the FDA would be empowered to require larger health warnings on cigarette packs, control tobacco company advertising and marketing, and order full disclosure of contents of tobacco products.

User fees imposed on tobacco companies would pay for the FDA’s regulation of the industry.

The legislation specifically bars the FDA from regulating tobacco farmers and does not allow the agency to ban tobacco.

The Bush administration, through FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, has raised concerns that federal regulation of tobacco will be misinterpreted by the public as an endorsement of its use.

Parts of the proposed legislation would be difficult to implement, and Congress may not provide the agency with enough resources to do the job, according to Eschenbach.

White House spokesman Blair Jones said yesterday that the administration “believes tobacco is not a drug or device to be regulated by FDA, ” adding that such authority is “inconsistent with FDA’s mission.”

However, an array of public health groups, religious organizations, unions, educational institutions and the AARP back the bill. The nation’s largest tobacco company, Philip Morris USA, and UST Inc., the largest maker of smokeless tobacco products, also support the measure.

The House committee’s action came as opposition ended from other groups — such as convenience store operators and some small tobacco companies, including the Louisville-based National Tobacco Co. — after lawmakers agreed to make changes in the bill.

“Regulating tobacco is the single most important thing we can do right now to curb the deadly toll of tobacco, ” said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chief sponsor of the bill. “And FDA is the right agency to do this job.”

But opponents said tobacco regulation will put additional burdens on the FDA, which they contended already is struggling to ensure the safety of food and drugs.

“This legislation, if it becomes law, would require the FDA to take on a task that’s enormous, complex and completely outside of its regulatory experience, ” said Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the committee’s ranking Republican.

Hill voted for the measure after the committee agreed to add language to the bill protecting domestic growers by barring foreign tobacco that does not meet federal chemical standards for American tobacco.

“This bill now strikes a careful balance between protecting the public and protecting the economic viability of tobacco growers, ” said Hill, who is not one of the bill’s co-sponsors.

The lone Kentucky lawmaker on the panel, Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-1st District, voted against the bill, though he said he supported combating tobacco use.

“The FDA’s mission is to protect public health by assuring the safety and efficacy of our nation’s food and drugs — and tobacco is neither a food nor a drug, ” Whitfield said in a statement. “Tobacco is a legal product that some people choose to use despite knowing the risks associated with it.”

Meanwhile, Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3rd District, said his concerns about the legislation were addressed when the panel agreed to give smaller tobacco companies up to four years to comply with some provisions and to join together to pay for testing products that may be required by the FDA.

Ron Tully, National Tobacco’s vice president of corporate affairs, said that without the changes the bill would threaten the survival of his firm and others of similar size.

National Tobacco has 300 employees — 200 of them in Louisville. The company makes cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and so-called “roll-your-own” products.

Rep. Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican who is an obstetrician, opposed the bill but offered an amendment that would have permitted a ban on tobacco or required the elimination of nicotine from tobacco products.

“This is an alternative to the scourge” of tobacco, he said. His amendment was defeated.

Waxman and other lawmakers said banning tobacco would backfire: it would fail to stop smoking and create a black market for cigarettes.

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7valleyslogo140.jpgI must get better sleeping pills.

These Big Tobacco guys are just plain old wrong. But the Anti-Tobacco forces are just plain wrong too.

Here’s what has me up at night, and it’s not the viability of the 7 Valleys Custom Blends Farm Fresh Tobacco brand or our wonderful franchisees, Business is GREAT!

What keeps me up at night is need for a noble attempt to try to bring some sanity into tobacco.

The Anti-Tobacco folks (Which I call the Antis) claim they want a smoke free world. They wish all tobacco would just disappear and daisies would sprout where tobacco once flourished. They know that will never happen, but like the kid who ate the last cookie in the jar, they are too far down the road to acknowledge what they already know.

Take, for instance, the state legislators who, while smiling in the Anti-Tobacco lobbyists’ faces and nodding their heads in unison about the evils of tobacco, have already sold bonds based on the taxes they earn for tobacco for the next 30 years. California just filed to leverage their tobacco tax income out to the year 2047!!! That’s in a state where you can’t even smoke a cigar at an outside baseball game in a county park anymore! What???

But being Anti-tobacco is an industry now. The Antis have jobs to protect. So while they know that what they advocate will never happen, they continue to put the screws to law abiding adult consumers of tobacco. They publicly advocate and raise money from unsuspecting but noble donors, while privately acknowledging the truth that tobacco will never be eliminated, that adults will continue to smoke, and that the legislators will high five them with a wink and a nod, then go and do the dirty work.
make your own cigarettes, myo, roll your own tobacco, ryo

Big Tobacco willfully funds all of this nonsense because it shields them from any class action lawsuits (the greatest benefit of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement). The MSA as we call it requires Big Tobacco to pay into a fund to pay the Antis and the money they have to pay the states is supposed to be used to reduce smoking.
Once the MSA was settled (with 46 states), Big Tobacco’s stock soared. Why? Because they got shielding from devastating and costly lawsuits and all they had to do was raise prices and pass that money through to the states. Big Tobacco’s consumers are paying for Big Tobacco’s insurance against state sponsored class action lawsuits. Hey, these guys aren’t tobacconists…they are businessmen; and damn good ones at that! They probably fired half of their legal staff too.

What do the states do with those millions? Well you’d think with all the pressure from the Antis they would fund cigarette consumption reduction campaigns. But you’re forgetting the wink and smile politics of the Antis. The States use that money to close budget gaps. The Antis are thrilled because they still have jobs funded by the pocket change leftover by the millions and millions of consumer money that Big Tobacco is passing through to them that isn’t being used by the states for general funding purposes.

We at 7 Valleys Custom Blends have a much better idea. Make your cigarettes yourself so you know what’s in it, and avoid the ridiculous cigarette taxes in the first place! Don’t start smoking if you don’t already, quit if you can, and if you don’t want to quit AT LEAST rise above Big Tobacco, prove you don’t need them, and laugh as the Big Tobacco companies squirm in the mess they created for themselves. It’s actually fun to watch them cannibalize themselves!

Mark

7 Valleys Custom Blends

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