Thursday 30 May 2024

Australia's tobacco fiasco

As two more tobacconists go up in flames in Melbourne, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) can no longer deny the illicit tobacco crisis Down Under. This article is worth reading.

Rohan Pike is a former Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) officer who helped establish the original tobacco strike team, when the black market was, as he describes it, a “modest problem”.

“The number one driver of the problem is the enormous price of tobacco,” Pike says bluntly.

When the taskforce was established in 2018, more than 400 million cigarette sticks were detected and seized at the border. 

Last year, it was 1.7 billion.

Even Simon Chapman's half-witted protégé has accepted reality.

Becky Freeman, an associate professor of public health at the University of Sydney, acknowledges the only reason people buy black market cigarettes is because “cigarettes are expensive”.

Naturally, being an imbecile, her answer is to ban vapes harder.
All of this was completely avoidable. All they had to do was allow affordable cigarettes and vapes to be sold to consenting adults. Instead, they allowed clowns and fanatics to call the shots and Australia became an object lesson in what not to do. The UK is not far behind. Are you watching, Mr Streeting?

PS. Speaking of clowns, this guy is in charge of the Australian Medical Association and apparently believes that every smoker in the country costs the economy $70,000 a year.
But he suddenly becomes sceptical when modelling suggests that taxing something that is currently illegal will raise tax revenue.

There is a lot of ruin in a nation but no society endure quite so many charlatans and fantasists without paying a price.

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