Tasmania to Ban the Sale of Cigarettes to Anyone Born after 2000

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 25th, 2012

Week in Review

Tasmania is getting serious about smoking.  Really serious.  Unlike U.S. politicians.  Sure, they’ll put a picture of a diseased lung on a cigarette pack.  They’ll ban smoking in all public areas.  They’ll tax the bejesus out of cigarettes to ‘dissuade’ people from smoking.  They’ll even sue Big Tobacco.  They’ll do just about everything under the sun to protect the people from the evils of tobacco.  Except what Tasmania’s legislature is doing (see Tasmania move for cigarette sale ban by AAP posted 8/22/2012 on The Australian).

TASMANIA’S upper house is calling for a ban on cigarette sales to anyone born after the year 2000…

The ban would begin taking effect once people born in 2000 turned 18.

Independent MP Ivan Dean said the move would stop young people from taking up the habit…

Tasmania has the highest rates of smoking in Australia.

Wow.  This is serious.  They must really care about their people.  Would the U.S. go this far?  Some simple math will answer that question.

New York City (NYC) is probably the most liberal city in the U.S.  Pretty much anything goes there.  Except smoking in public areas.  But they allow the sale of cigarettes.  And they are the most expensive cigarettes you can buy in the U.S.  For they add $5.85 in taxes to each pack they sell.

NYC has a population of about 8.2 million people.  Approximately 19.3% of people smoke in the U.S.  So approximately 1.6 million people in NYC smoke.  If they buy a pack of cigarettes a day they generate approximately $3,397,754,206.96 in cigarette taxes for various levels of government.  That’s $3.4 billion of tax revenue from cigarettes.  And this is the reason why the U.S. government will never do what the Tasmanian government is proposing.

NYC used $3.5 billion in nonrecurring resources to balance their budget.  Otherwise they would have had a $3.5 billion deficit.  So imagine what giving up that $3.4 billion in cigarette tax revenue would do to the city.  So NYC will do everything in their power to get people to quit smoking.  Except for taking away their cigarettes.  Because without those cigarette sales they could easily double their deficit.  As would all cash-strapped cities with large public sector costs.

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