Well at least one idea in the nanny state did die. A Democrat assemblymen from San Rafel had this idea that the state should be able to ban smoking in homes. Yup in your own house. The bill said if you shared a wall, ceiling, floor or ventilation system with a neighboring unit you could not smoke. Second hand smoke was the reason. Fortunately for the state, the bill died in committee, being rejected on a 5-2 vote.
The bill’s critics questioned who would enforce it, how, and what impact the bill would have on habitual smokers or on people with disabilities who could not easily leave their residences to smoke.
You can bet they will keep trying. The example of this came out Monday from San Diego State University, which found that third hand smoke endangers hotel guests.
“Researchers” from the university visited 600 hotel rooms in San Diego and analyzed surfaces and air for tobacco pollutants. Lucky research assistants provided urine and finger swipe samples to test for other tobacco “carcinogens”.
“[T]hese research finds suggest that the existing smoke-free exemptions in California hotels make it virtually impossible to protect a non-smoking guest who stays in a designated smoking room from tobacco smoke exposure-even if no one smokes during their stay,” the authors wrote. “This is because smoking hotel rooms become reservoirs of tobacco, smoke toxicants that accumulate in carpets, dust, upholstery, mattresses, curtains and furniture, penetrate wallpaper and paint, and are even stored in drywall.”
The researchers concluded that exemptions in law for smoking in hotel rooms make it hard to protect guests who prefer non-smoking rooms, since “tobacco smoke cannot be confined to a hotel room but may spread to adjacent and more distant non-smoking rooms, hallways, ventilation systems, windows and utility ducts.”
In other words they are now going to use third hand smoke (which by the way was originally discovered through a poll which asked if people thought it might be a problem) to get rid of smoking everywhere.
Meanwhile, in California there is yet another tax bill being pondered. Almost a year ago, voters rejected a big tobacco tax increase in the state. It was a tight vote but residients said no to the idea. That did not stop the antis just because they lost at the ballot box, they are trying to impose the same tax via the legislature. The legislation would increase the tax on a pack of cigarettes by 2 bucks. But that is not all….according to the IPCPR,
Because the bill would impose an additional tax on cigarettes under the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Tax Law, it would automatically increase the excise tax upon the distribution of tobacco products under that law at a rate that is equivalent to the combined rate of all taxes imposed on cigarettes. Currently, other tobacco products are taxed at a rate of 30.68% of the wholesale cost to the distributor and little cigars are taxed at the same rate used to tax cigarettes.
So bottom line the price of cigars would rise in California under this bill. Hit them with letters, the IPCPR has a website to explain the bill and help send emails to legislators. Be sure to let them know today that this is a dumb idea and one the voters already rejected.
Speaking of taxes…the House is now considering that Internet sales tax. It sailed through the Senate but is being slowed down by the House…that is a good thing. As we noted before there are nearly 10,000 local taxing districts which any Internet retailer would have to figure out to comply with this law. This would be bad. The Cigar Association of America and the Pipe Tobacco Council have come out against this bill.
“There is nothing fair about the Marketplace Fairness Act. It’s a slap in the wallet for American consumers and businesses,” said Craig Williamson, president of the Cigar Association of America and Pipe Tobacco Council. “The bill is a giveaway to billion-dollar big-box retailers, and is designed to place online businesses at a significant market disadvantage.” The effect of the Marketplace Fairness Act could be particularly damaging for the $14 billion cigar industry, which employs tens of thousands of workers in America and abroad. By some industry estimates, more than half of all premium cigar sales are conducted online or via mail.
Oddly enough, well not really, neither the IPCPR nor the CRA are looking at this. Granted they are both pushing for the Premium Cigar exemption to the FDA. That is a big deal, but so too is this. Contact your Congressman and tell him to vote no on the Marketplace Fairness Act, which is not fair at all.