By Bob Tate
Hold onto your pipes people, here it is.
On January 13, 2010, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and co-sponsor Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) introduced bill H.R. 4439 to congress to raise the federal pipe tobacco tax from $2.8311US per pound to $24.78US per pound and “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose the same rate of tax on pipe tobacco as is imposed on roll-your-own tobacco.”
At the time of this article, this has not been reported by any news agency. This seems to be the way that all anti-tobacco legislation has been happening as of late. “Do not report on it until is has already passed” and I am sick of them sneaking their laws in and not letting the public know until after it is passed.
If this bill passes, the average increase to your favorite blends will be about:
$2.43US per 50gr
$2.74US per 2oz
$4.86US per 100gr
$10.98US per 8oz
$21.95US per 16oz
$24.15US per 500gr
These prices would be added onto the price you are currently paying for those amounts of pipe tobacco. So with the average price of 100gr tin McClelland Frog Morton being about $13.20US, the new price would be $18.06US! That is outrageous!
The following is the exact wording of Bill H.R. 4439:
111TH CONGRESS 2D SESSION
H. R. 4439
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose the same rate
of tax on pipe tobacco as is imposed on roll-your-own tobacco.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
JANUARY 13, 2010
Mr. COHEN (for himself and Mr. DOGGETT) introduced the following bill;
which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose
the same rate of tax on pipe tobacco as is imposed
on roll-your-own tobacco.
1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa
2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Tobacco Tax Parity
5 Act of 2010’’.
6 SEC. 2. PIPE TOBACCO AND ROLL-YOUR-OWN TOBACCO
7 RATE PARITY.
8 (a) IN GENERAL.—Subsection (f) of section 5701 of
9 the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking
10 ‘‘$2.8311 cents’’ and inserting ‘‘$24.78’’.
1 (b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by
2 this section shall apply to articles removed (as defined in
3 section 5702(j) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986)
4 after the date of the enactment of this Act.
I am so angry right now that steam is coming out of my ears! I am very angry at the Government, the Politicians, our so called Representatives, junk science, and tobacco users. Yes, I said tobacco users; especially pipe and cigar smokers! But more on that in a moment; first will be my thoughts on the government and taxes.
I am very sick and tired of the financial raping and pillaging of the government through taxes that are unfairly placed on a certain group of individuals, namely tobacco users. These extraordinarily high tobacco taxes being levied are preposterous, out of hand, and simply unfair. I am also angry about the second class citizenship that people who enjoy tobacco have been labeled with. What happened to ‘all men are created equally’?
I am very angry at the way that our government is handling the current economical situation and unemployment rate. Instead of figuring out a way to create more jobs, they are more worried about their anti-tobacco agenda and actually removing jobs from the work force. When SCHIP was implemented, there were quite a few retail tobacconist stores that were forced to close creating more people without jobs. The raise in taxes devastated the Roll-Your-Own tobacco industry. Now with this new tax on pipe tobacco, they are going to devastate the pipe tobacco industry causing more jobs to be lost and more small businesses to close. Add in all of the smoking bans and you have even more lost revenue to other businesses such as bars and restaurants.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree that non-smokers should have a right to go and enjoy themselves at a smoke free environment. But the government should let the choice of whether to allow smoking or not be left up to the business owners and not be forced on them by the government. They force smokers outside in all kinds of weather and then want to start banning smoking outside as well. Enough is enough!
I am very angry, sick, and tired of tobacco users not standing up for themselves and allowing all of this to happen! I am even angrier at cigar and pipe smokers because they are the ones who began dividing smokers into different sects by thinking that the way that they choose to enjoy tobacco products make them a little better and different than cigarette smokers. How separate do pipers feel from RYO smokers now? I don’t give a crap if smoking cigarettes are unhealthier than smoking a pipe. It is about allowing people to make their own decisions. Pipers might think that smoking a pipe is fine and doesn’t have many negative affects, but I guarantee you that the anti’s don’t care. They want all tobacco gone.
The first thing that a lot of pipers are going to say is; “I knew that the RYO cigarette manufactures and smokers would ruin it for pipe smokers”. This is utter hog wash and, quite frankly, BS! The extraordinarily high taxes should have never been put on RYO tobacco in the first place. Do you really blame the RYO companies for trying to stay in business and not have to close down? A lot of pipe smokers seem to forget that TOBACCO IS TOBACCO. The same tobacco that is in RYO is the same tobacco used for pipe tobacco. There is still Virginia, Burley, Oriental, etc. in RYO tobacco; it is just processed a little differently. I agree that manufactured cigarettes have a lot of additives in them, but almost all RYO tobacco have none. It is just tobacco. What gives pipe and cigar smokers the right to think that they can smoke tobacco for cheaper than other people? If you want to get technical, all tobacco should be taxed the same and I guess the government is trying to do that.
I am angry that for so many years pipe smokers have been trying to hide in the shadows and stay hidden from the anti-tobacco fight. I have actually read people post that on forums. They would say; “Pipers are such a small group, I’m sure they won’t come after us”. That strategy didn’t work too well, did it? They still came after pipe tobacco and will continue to do so. Systematic attacks on tobacco, one step at a time and cigars will be next. I know that the Cigar Rights of America (CRA) is trying to fight the good fight, but they need to start including other forms of tobacco. WE NEED TO STOP SEPARATING OURSELVES! Manufactured cigarettes, RYO tobacco, and with this new tax, pipe tobacco have been conquered. That will only leave cigars. We are steadily losing ground and are definitely losing the war with the selfish, think about myself, attitudes. Cigarette and RYO tobacco users don’t care now. Why should they? They are probably happy now that pipe smokers are feeling their pain.
Stop crying, whining, and complaining on online forums and message boards and complain to the people that matter; the government! Stop using the excuse that they won’t listen. If enough people complain, they will have to listen. Even if they don’t, at least you went down swinging!
Stop talking about what you are going to do when tobacco prohibition happens and try to STOP it from happening!
Stop separating yourself from other tobacco users and stand up for all tobacco users and unite in this fight!
We have to put our collective voices together and fight against this forceful removal of making our own choices and being told what to do!
If we don’t fight for ourselves, how can we expect other people to fight for us?
I fear that it might be too late to do anything about it because the anti’s have such a strong foothold and head start, but I am still going to fight until the end! We as tobacco users need to make 2010 the year that we stand up against all of the injustices that have been done to us and start taking our rights back! Join the CRA and once you have joined, lobby them to start including other forms of tobacco. We need a unified organization like the NRA (National Rifle Association). They don’t just stand up for the rights of rifle owners; they stand up for the rights of ALL firearm owners. They are unified in their efforts to protect the rights of all firearm owners not just a portion of them. We need to do the same!
In conclusion, I would like to direct you to one of my previous articles; Divided We Fall – The Self Segregation of Smokers. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest that you do. We need to unite and fight, not divide and segregate!
In this spot, I would normally put ‘Happy Puffing!’ But in this case I am putting:
FIGHT FOR YOUR FREEDOMS!