Vice Squad
Monday, April 12, 2004
Two Quick Updates, One Concerning Tobacco, the Other, Alcohol

Tennessee is looking to tax "Little Tobacco" companies by 50 cents per pack to protect the state's revenue from the 1998 Master Tobacco Settlement. This is simply the latest development in a long, long cycle of activity in state houses throughout America; one recent (yet, oddly, not the most recent) related Vice Squad post is here. An excerpt from the linked article: "The cost of many standard cigarette brands has gone up as a result of the lawsuit settlement, while these off-brands can be half the price. That means that not only are the state's children being enticed to buy cigarettes, less money comes into the state's coffers as large manufacturers' profits drop, said [the bill's sponsor]."

The alcohol update concerns the tight new anti-alcohol restrictions in Aboriginal areas in Australia. First the new controls brought "Winegate," a political scandal involving a government plane that landed in the prohibition zone...with a wine bottle on board! Now an Aboriginal political leader is in trouble after a can of beer was tossed, so the accusation goes, from his car as it approached a police roadblock.

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