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Written by Kevin Godbee

Sunday, 21 August 2005

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Tags:
leisure and relaxationtobacco legislation

The most misleading, misconstrued and misrepresented article I ever read about cigars was published on RedNova.com, July 9, 2005. The two most bothersome things about their "research" is that they DO NOT differentiate between drug store cigarillos and handmade premium cigars. They lump them all together. Then they go on to proclaim that taxes should be raised on cigars so the underage youth of America will stop smoking cigars. WTF?!?! 

Red Nova...Can someone please take the "stupid pills" away from the folks at RedNova.com? I can't believe this article! Here's the link so you can see what I'm ranting about. 

Idiotic Article at RedNova.com 

The title of the article is; "Effects of Public Policy on Adolescents' Cigar Use: Evidence From the National Youth Tobacco Survey"

On their "About Us" page, Red Nova states that their site has "subject matter a bit more intellectually oriented than most". Whatever. I guess when you use words like; "elasticity", "logistic regression models", and "complex survey design" some people might be impressed.


Basically, the Red Nova article comes down to this. They say that kids in grades 6-12 smoke cigars. They discovered that price effects demand. (I remember that from Economics 101.) They recommend that policy makers raise taxes on cigars so kids won't smoke them. By the way, they're using data that's 6 years old. "The primary data for this analysis were the 1999 and 2000 waves of the National Youth Tobacco Survey." Here's the most telling line of the piece; "...the average price per cigar was $0.72".

First of all, nobody on this site considers anything that costs $0.72 to be a cigar. The Red Nova authors are doing the equivalent of throwing Thunderbird wine into the same category as Dom Perignon. Maybe if we raised taxes on ALL wines and champagnes we could lower the amount of winos we have in society. I'd gladly pay more for my Dom Perignon to help decrease the wino population. Not! We have laws against selling tobacco products to minors, but they say that isn't effective. Why not? They say, "We found that youth cigar demand is sensitive to price but not state tobacco-control regulations." And this is the problem of the premium cigar smokers? Hey kids, listen up: Don't smoke cigars until you are of legal age and make sure you know that there can be negative health possibilities...just like everything else in this world. I'd rather stay home and smoke cigars all day than take a 20 minute drive on the highway. I think the latter is much more dangerous to your health. 

Advising policy makers to increase excise taxes on ALL cigars is not the answer and is irresponsible. Increasing the excise tax on the actual products minors buy is not the answer either. Why should we have to pay more because of someone else's bad parenting? The answers are education, enforcement of current laws against minors purchasing tobacco, and parents being responsible for their kids. The Red Nova authors, policy makers, politicians and anti-smoking zealots need to mind their own business and let us enjoy the few freedoms we have left.

I'd love to hear your comments. Create a free login, (we won't spam you, I promise) and post your comments.

Kev




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