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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default UN Health Group Plotting Massive Global Tax on Tobacco, Without U.S. Input

    Oct. 1, 2014


    The World Health Organization will meet behind closed doors in Russia later this month to vote on a proposal that would encourage most of world’s countries to impose a huge tax on tobacco, one that would double or even triple the price of cigarettes and threaten real injury to U.S. tobacco growers in Kentucky and North Carolina.

    The move will be made without any U.S. government observers, as they are expected to boycott the meeting in protest of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, according close observers of the process. And the proposal is expected to pass without any public record of how each country voted.

    While the vote will take place in secrecy, the resulting tax hike will likely lead to noticeable damage to U.S. tobacco companies and tobacco growers. The U.S. is one of the world’s largest tobacco producers, and companies from around the world source tobacco from the United States.

    Without any U.S. input, the livelihoods of U.S. workers will be threatened by a global tax that at least one prominent economist says will shut down sales of U.S. cigarettes and likely lead to underground, illegal trade in these products.

    The WHO, which is the arm of the United Nations that deals with health issues, will meet in Moscow the week of October 13 for the sixth meeting of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The meeting will consider the adoption of a new article to that convention, which deals with “tobacco control.”

    The group counts 179 countries as members, and an agreement to impose the new tax would mean higher excise taxes on cigarettes in most of the world’s countries. However, the U.S. is among the group of countries that has not ratified the convention, along with others such as Argentina and Switzerland.

    According to a draft of the article, the group sees a tax hike on tobacco as a change that would create a disincentive to smoke, and raise revenue for governments at the same time.

    “Effective taxes on tobacco products that lead to higher real consumer prices (inflation-adjusted) are desirable because they lower consumption and prevalence, and thereby in turn reduce mortality and morbidity and improve the health of the population,” according to the draft.

    “Effective tobacco taxes contribute significantly to state budgets,” it reads. “Increasing tobacco taxes generally further increases government revenues, as the increase in tax normally outweighs the decline in consumption of tobacco products.”

    But while the group proudly makes these claims, it buries the actual recommended tax level in a footnote to a paragraph dealing with what tax rates should apply.

    That paragraph says sovereign countries have the right to determine their own tax levels, and that there is “no single optimal level of tobacco taxes” that applies to all. Only in the footnote to that paragraph on page 12 does the group make clear its recommendation by citing a WHO technical manual:

    “(Recommends that tobacco excise taxes account for at least 70 percent of the retail prices for tobacco products,)” it reads.

    According to a new book by economist Arthur Laffer, making sure that excise taxes account for 70 percent of the retail price of a pack of cigarettes would dramatically raise prices around the world. In India, for example, prices would rise from $2.42 to $9.88 a pack, a 309 percent increase.

    Other countries that would see price hikes above 100 percent include Indonesia, Ukraine, China, Peru and Colombia. Laffer says these tax hikes would not automatically increase government revenues, and instead would shut down trade in legitimate products.

    “By simulating the impact of a global minimum excise incidence of 70 percent, it becomes even more clear that this WHO recommendation is far from best practice,” Laffer wrote in his book, Handbook of Tobacco Taxation: Theory and Practice. [I]“t would lead to draconian and arbitrary tax increases in almost every country, and at the same time more than triple tax and price differences between countries, providing further incentives for illicit trade.”

    Laffer stressed in his book that he is “hostile” toward cigarettes, but said his disapproval of the product doesn’t mean countries should pursue irrational tax policies that drive people to illegal trade.

    “In other words, you don’t want to tax cigarettes to the point that consumers are no longer purchasing cigarettes from tobacco companies and instead are smuggling, dealing in illicit trade, etc,” he wrote.
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  2. #2
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    sounds like this just impacts countries that the US doesn't have free trade deals with. Sounds more like a recommendation that can be negotiated away with countries individually as is normally done with international trade.

  3. #3
    Baluchitherium
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    Business, tariffs, taxes, jobs etc. aside, I am all for ending the world's dependence tobacco as much as I am for oil... the stuff just sucks.
    "Alcoholism, is like, the only disease you can get yelled at for having" - Mitch
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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    The UN is an absolute toothless tiger without US support.

    If we don't back it, won't happen. Don't really care either way, more important things to worry about.
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  5. #5
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    If the UN passes something the US doesn't like, we can simply say "make me."

    That will be the end of the conversation.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  6. #6
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    Yeah...That's what I love about the United Nations - they're just so...United...
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Punch View Post
    Business, tariffs, taxes, jobs etc. aside, I am all for ending the world's dependence tobacco as much as I am for oil... the stuff just sucks.
    They'll never ban it - it's too lucrative.

    I don't give a sh*t what some people say about tobacco costing the health service tons of cash - the fact is that taxes paid on the production, manufacture, and retailing of cigarettes is waaay beyond the (admittedly costly) treatments provided for smoking-related healthcare.

    First of all, you've got the business / corporation taxes paid by tobacco companies, then you've got the income taxes paid by their employees. In terms of smokers themselves - in the UK, the average pack of 20 now costs approximately £10 ($18), the bulk of that being tax, and smokers die younger, requiring less by way of benefits and pensions for the elderly.

    Tobacco isn't going ANYWHERE - more's the pity...Of course, government will pay lip-service to its being a detestable habit - putting a relatively small amount into services designed to help us quit, putting hideous pictures and warnings on the packets, hiding them behind screens in the shops, putting the price up year-on-year - but the truth is that they don't WANT to ban them for the reasons listed above.

    The hypocrisy is astounding, and makes me want to spit - not least because I know that banning them would force me to stop - and I WANT TO STOP!!! I enjoy my pitiful three fags a day - but I wouldn't break the law to obtain them - not least because I'm a lazy old bag, and it would require a lot more effort than just nipping to the corner shop.
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

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  8. #8
    Sinner's Swing! Darkstar's Avatar
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    Everyone should just smoke weed....especially the government....then everyone will be too high to care......
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  9. #9
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by dibblekins View Post
    They'll never ban it - it's too lucrative.

    I don't give a sh*t what some people say about tobacco costing the health service tons of cash - the fact is that taxes paid on the production, manufacture, and retailing of cigarettes is waaay beyond the (admittedly costly) treatments provided for smoking-related healthcare.

    First of all, you've got the business / corporation taxes paid by tobacco companies, then you've got the income taxes paid by their employees. In terms of smokers themselves - in the UK, the average pack of 20 now costs approximately £10 ($18), the bulk of that being tax, and smokers die younger, requiring less by way of benefits and pensions for the elderly.

    Tobacco isn't going ANYWHERE - more's the pity...Of course, government will pay lip-service to its being a detestable habit - putting a relatively small amount into services designed to help us quit, putting hideous pictures and warnings on the packets, hiding them behind screens in the shops, putting the price up year-on-year - but the truth is that they don't WANT to ban them for the reasons listed above.

    The hypocrisy is astounding, and makes me want to spit - not least because I know that banning them would force me to stop - and I WANT TO STOP!!! I enjoy my pitiful three fags a day - but I wouldn't break the law to obtain them - not least because I'm a lazy old bag, and it would require a lot more effort than just nipping to the corner shop.
    Never said anything about banning it, just meant to educate the world about the devil that tobacco is so that people of the future choose not to use it. My God, I would not want to be in the same country with you when you decide to quit
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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    Fuck the UN and any of it's related organizations...
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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast98dodge View Post
    Fuck the UN and any of it's related organizations...
    That's not very patriotic, now is it? (After all, one could argue that the USA is a "related organisation"... )
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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    The US is a government, not an organization.
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  13. #13
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast98dodge View Post
    The US is a government, not an organization.


    Well, it's not very organised, I'll give you that...
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

    "Whatever you do, wherever you go, there you are..." Edward Van Halen 1986

    "You spend the first part of your life trying to make your mark, and the second part just trying to cover up your tracks"... Weesfreewheelin, 2012

    "Life's too short to stuff a mushroom"... Shirley Conran, 1975

    "You turn if you want to...The LADY is NOT for turning!"...Margaret
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  14. #14
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    At least we don't have a Royal family that is involved with incest and pedophilia...
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  15. #15
    Atomic Punk
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    Far from being insulted by your outrageous slur on her lineage, I'm willing to bet Queenie would find your mis-spelling of 'paedophilia' far more offensive!
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

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