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Archive for the ‘Spotlight: Smoking Bans’ Category

Government-imposed smoking bans have been spreading across the United States and around the world in the past two decades. Cities, counties, states, provinces, and even whole countries have embraced the idea that the slight public health risk possibly caused by secondhand smoke justifies the use of police powers to enforce smoking bans on private property.

Most news accounts regarding smoking ban proposals make it seem as though this phenomenon is fresh, new, and progressive, and that once passed, smoking bans are likely to remain on the books and be enforced forever. However, history shows the reality is quite different.
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When someone has a nicotine craving and no money to buy a pack of cigarettes made extremely expensive by state and local taxes, who can he or she turn to?

In Chicago, New York, and many other cities across the country, there is likely to be a “loose square man” ready to sell a single cigarette or two.
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New York’s state cigarette tax climbed from $1.50 to $2.75 a pack in June, the highest state cigarette tax burden in the nation.

State officials, including New York Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines, assert the higher tax burden will cause about 140,000 state residents to give up smoking, based on reductions from prior cigarette tax hikes.
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