Quitting smoking, is the best thing I have ever done for myself, those around me, and for my pets, too! During my lifetime...and as a former smoker...I do not know much about the bootlegging of cigarettes in the mail and otherwise, etc. And, so for the readers around the world, who are not familiar with the word (bootlegging), I will give you the definition as it appears in the dictionary, which is as follows:
- bootlegging; to make; transport, or sell anything (especially liquor), illegally or without registration or payment of taxes;
In this case, the product is cigarettes. As I've stated in my other articles on smoking...I have zero tolerance for smoking and smokers! I do not want smokers around me, either! Smokers...willingly do what they do...and inhale all that smoke filled with dangerous chemicals...and I really don't care if they die from smoking!
Because I don't know much about bootlegging of cigarettes, I thought it might be best for the reader, if I just quoted from the letter-to-the-editor, than trying to paraphrase the letter, and messing it all up.
The piece was written by Gene Valdez, President of the New Mexico Grocers Association, and the piece was published in the letters-to-the-editors section of the Albuquerque Journal in February, 2010. The letter is entitled;
"Bootleg Cigarette Vendors Cost State"
The letter reads as follows;
"Prohibition was a boom to New Mexico's first generation of bootleggers after statehood.
Their products were alcoholic beverages...booze...which New Mexico citizens enthusiastically voted to outlaw in 1917...three years before national Prohibition was approved.
The state's new generation of bootleggers deals primarily in cigarettes sold over the Internet or by phone and often delivered through the mail. It's a different style of bootlegging from that of the old-timers whose stills and speakeasies dotted Santa Fe during Prohibition.
Unlike their Prohibition-era predecessors, today's cigarette bootleggers aren't selling a product that's been banned by law. But unlike the honest retailers and consumers who pay substantial taxes on cigarette sales, the cigarette bootleggers pay little or none.
This is not only unfair, it victimizes everyone in New Mexico, smokers and non-smokers alike. Each year, cigarette bootleggers cost states $5 billion in lost tax revenue. Not with the state still in the grip of national recession and experts at the University of New Mexico predicting it will take several more years just to get back to pre-recession economic levels.
You and I pay more state and federal taxes because the bootleggers pay little or none. But that's not the only penalty imposed on New Mexico by these peripheral operators, known to law enforcement as 'remote sellers' or 'illegal tobacco traffickers.' They are not inclined or adept in monitoring to prevent sales to minors. A credit card number is all the ID most remote sellers require. Give them that and the cigaretts are in the mail.
Compare that to the vigilance required of retail store operators, like the members of the New Mexico Grocers Association. Our members are on the front lines of the battle against underage tobacco sales. We are the people who demand ID, obey the rules and risk heavy fines if a minor manages to buy a pack of cigarettes, despite our efforts.
I can almost hear the remote sellers laughing at us as they rake in profits from their untaxed or severely under-taxed cigarette sales. This is a situation that's been allowed to develop because the federal laws governing cigarette sales have been left behind by the Internet and the modern-day bootleggers who use it.
That's why New Mexico's grocers and other retailers are urging Sen. Jeff Bingaman and Sen. Tom Udall to support legislation now pending in the U.S. Senate. The legislation is known as the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act or 'PACT.' Already passed by an over-whelming margin in the House of Representatives, PACT would close the gaping legal loopholes that allow tobacco bootleggers to operate with impunity.
PACT would also serve notice on these remote sellers that their free ride is over. The law would require payment of state and local excise taxes on remote sales of tobacco products. It would go a long way towards eliminating illegal sales of cigarettes to minors by requiring remote sellers to do age verification on their customers and keep strict shipping records, accessible to inspection by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The biggest blow PACT strikes against remote sellers is the prohibition against sending cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products to consumers through the U.S. Mail. This could drive some of the new generation of bootleggers out of business. New Mexico wouldn't miss them."
END OF LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR:
For those of you around the world...who have had the will-power and discipline to quit smoking...I salute you! If I can quit smoking...so can you! And, for the excuse-makers around the world, who have an excuse for everything they can't do...you made your bed...you can sleep in it, etc.
Below is a list of articles on smoking, I hope the reader finds useful.
- Smoking Sucks; How I Quit Smoking;
- Sabrina: Another Smoking Casulty;
- Have You Ever Kissed an Ashtray? (pucker-up)
- The Insanity of Smoking;
- Young People Should NOT Start Smoking;
- E-Cigarettes: Just Another Toy For the Excuse-
- Secondhand Smoke and Pets Make For a Toxic
- President Obummer Should Put His Money Where
His Mouth Is and Quit Smoking;
- POISON ALERT! Secondhand Smoke!
- You Made Your Bed...You Can Sleep In It
- The Number ONE Litter Problem In the World;
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Copyright; 2010; Jerry Aragon/The Humor Doctor
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