Social Engeneering

They think this will work.

In an attempt to discourage smokers from lighting up, New Zealand is considering raising the price of a pack of cigarettes to as much as $100 by 2020, Sky News reported.

The suggested measure is one of many ideas from New Zealand’s Ministry of Health to make the country smoke-free by 2025, according to a document released to 3 News in New Zealand.

Another option being considered would be to increase the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes 10 percent each year from 2013 to 2025 – eventually costing $40 a pack. The more extreme $100 a pack version would be achieved by an immediate price increase of 30 to 60 percent, with an annual increase of 30 percent.

The briefing paper said: “Tobacco taxation is the single most effective intervention available to drive down smoking prevalence figures.”

I think one of the huge flaws with any of these thoughts are that they think somehow tobacco or alcohol are different than other recreational drugs. Humans like to alter their state, and with the exception on the Inuit people (who are limited in the land they live in) EVERY known human culture has a drug they do.

America we’re 100% OK with somebody buying a coffee, a pack of smokes, and a six-pack. They try to limit how and where they use them, but overall they’re free clear for anybody with the money and the proper age.

Other nations have other drugs, some have religious experiences with various hallucinogens, others allow the opiates we forbid (unless you have a doctor’s prescription of course!).

People will want their cigarettes. Maybe they’ll turn to Electronic Cigarettes which offer all the nicotine joys of the burning butt, but without all the awful health risks, or maybe they’ll just ask the people who smuggle in the Cocaine and Heroin to toss in a few tax-free cartons of smokes.

As for young kids getting hooked for the first time, think of how much people pay for a hit of Coke, Crack, or Weed. There isn’t a price too high to try for the first time, its just a question of maintaining the habit, and again if an artificial price wall is created people will just tunnel under it.

Just look at all the illegal use of Oxycontin! Where there is a demand there is a way.

The War on Drugs will never win a single battle, can we give up now?

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17 Responses to Social Engeneering

  1. Lissa says:

    Is there a way to invest in what will soon be the burgeoning black market cigarette market in Austrailia?

    • Weerd Beard says:

      If you want to launch a cargo ship in the South China Sea, and come up with a believable import company to both evade customs scrutiny, and launder your money….

    • The only problem I see with that idea is that sooner or later, Tobacco will be added to the “War on Drugs”. When that happens, there will be a HUGE amount of money to be made, but it will be made by people who have no qualms about killing to protect/expand their territory who already have an operation in place.

      In effect, this will just make the rich drug syndicates even richer, and promote violence.

      s

  2. Divemedic says:

    The Inuits still have a drug and alcohol problem.
    http://www.inspq.qc.ca/pdf/publications/657_esi_alcool_drogues_gambling.pdf

    As far as raising cigarette prices to $100 a pack: All that will do is encourage people to smoke weed. At that point, it will be cheaper.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Illegal Cigarets will still be cheaper than illegal weed.

      The Inuits were introduced to drugs and alcohol from Western settlers. But before that “social contamination” they had nothing.

      The fact that they take to drink and drugs like any other group (their East-Asian heritage does lend to drinking problems due to their low production of alcohol dehydrogenase. But that’s pure genetic, not social.

    • good. weed is much better for you than cigarettes

      • Weerd Beard says:

        I dunno about that. Generally people don’t smoke 20-40 joints a day, so there’s that. Still joint-for-butt, Marijuana is best smoked “Dank” for optimal flavor, effect, and enjoyment, while good tobacco is cured and dried over a long period of time (don’t know the spesifics, but even the inside of a fine humidor-aged cigar is vastly different than the stuff found inside a bag of good “kind bud”) so there will be a lot of tar and long-chain molecules from incomplete combustion. None of that shit is good for your lungs, and is likely highly carcinogenic.

        That being said, if you’re a big boy, you can take your knocks how you see fit. We aren’t going to live forever, and if you want to do some crazy bong-hits, or jab a needle in your arm, who am I to judge if you don’t go bothering others?

  3. McThag says:

    This will be a fine example of economics in action.

    The price increases of taxation are only effective as long as the profits of illegally circumventing the legitimate supply are too low to bother with. Once the illegal market is established and running, the prices will be far lower because there will only be market factors setting the value. With the price point dropped significantly, MORE people will smoke not fewer; cost will no longer be a barrier.

    By the way, want to see a microcosm of this running? Just look for two states with widely different taxes on cigarettes and liquor and see how many places sell such at the border.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Interesting that you mention that. Massachusetts taxes Alcohol very heavily. New Hampshire doesn’t tax it at all (but liquor sales in NH are a tax in themselves as Liquor stores in NH are run by the state).

      At EVERY major border crossing there are super-market-sized liquor stores. They don’t sell beer, they don’t sell soda, they don’t sell snacks, they don’t sell bottled water. NOTHING but liquor and wine, at some of the lowest prices I’ve seen anywhere in my travels.

      They have huge parking lots that are always full.

      When I lived in Southern Maine I bought all by booze in New Hampshire….I now live in Northern Mass….I buy all my booze in New Hampshire.

      Funny how that works.

  4. Jack says:

    Prohibition will work THIS TIME!

    Course these Nannying go-gos will reply that an increase in criminality is worth it as they’re not after the “hardcases” but want to price out and discourage the casual users.

    And as for the hard cases who don’t listen to their betters? Well… that’s when the criminalization becomes mighty handy.

    Though I’m sure those in goverment and their well-connected buddies will be able to skirt the revenuers because doin’ the people’s work is so hard and a man’s entitled to a Lucky to steady his nerves ya’ know.

  5. mike w. says:

    Can you say “black market?”

    Yes? Ok, have a cookie!

  6. Rob Crawford says:

    Black market? Just teach them how to grow their own. Yeah, it’s a PITA, but it’s safer. It’s not like tobacco is a high-demand crop, in terms of soil.

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