Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Black Market Denial

Tobacco Control are a strange beast. They seem totally incapable of thinking the way a NORMAL person thinks. Their solution to everything they think consumers should not be enjoying is to seek to ban it. If they can't ban it, then their second preference is to try and hike the price.

Today, I was drawn by this tweet

The implication of this tweet is that increasing the price of tobacco as high as possible means that the 'kidz' will simply be unable to afford the tobacco. It makes you wonder if these people were ever kids themselves at any time in their lives because if a kid really wants to try something, they will find a way.

Thanks to Tobacco Control, it is Christmas 365 days a year for the smugglers/criminal gangs. With a pack of 20 cigarettes around £10 (in the UK at least), Tobacco Control have opened up a whole new market in illicit tobacco. The fact that packs of 10 are no longer legally sold in the UK anymore due to the TPD has simply exacerbated this fact.

I no longer smoke (I switched to Vaping over 6 years ago), but even I know of numerous places where I can buy smuggled or illicit cigarettes. If I can find them so easily, do Tobacco Control really think that your average 'young person' cannot also work out where to purchase illicit cigarettes ?

The thing is, if folk are buying illicit tobacco from criminal/smuggling gangs, then children can also do the same. Because it is illicit in the first place, such gangs will have no qualms whatsoever about who they are selling that illicit tobacco to. The bottom line to those gangs is simply to make as much money as they possibly can. In fact, illicit tobacco is such a profitable business these days that many criminals have switched from pushing drugs and now sell illicit tobacco instead.

Much illicit tobacco that can be found on the black market is genuine enough. It is simply sourced from other countries where the taxes are lower (or non-existent) and smuggled into the UK. Indeed, there is so much of it flooding into the UK in this way that Customs are very much fighting a losing battle to stop the tide. For every horde of illicit tobacco they do actually find (and seize), you can bet your bottom dollar on the fact that there are hundreds more around the country (or even the locality) that they have not detected. When the smuggling happens on such a scale, the smugglers can easily absorb the occasional loss or seizure of their stock. It is exactly the same mindset that drug traffickers use.

Then of course, you also have the 'home grown' tobacco. That is, counterfeit tobacco that may well have been manufactured within the UK and bulked up with all manner of 'nasties' to make the final product. For these types of operation, they have no qualms at all about hygiene or Health & Safety in their 'manufacturing' process because, as an illegal operation in the first place, they are not bound by such considerations.

Counterfeit tobacco can also be found with ease all over the UK. Yes, occasionally stock is seized by the Police or Customs, but as with smuggled tobacco there is plenty more where that came from so they can easily absorb the occasional seizure of stock.

Also, thanks to Tobacco Control exaggerating the effects of smoking (especially 2nd hand smoke), many people expect that Tobacco will kill them eventually anyway so why would they bother worrying about anything nasty being in counterfeit cigarettes ?

Don't believe me ?   Ask yourself how many newspaper headlines you have read in 2017 alone whereby people have died from taking a contaminated batch of drugs they have purchased in a nightclub or at a festival. That alone should tell you that when people want a product badly enough, then they will naturally take risks on that product when they know it is being bought from an illegal source - especially if the price is good.

Tobacco Control KNOW they are fuelling the black market by constantly pushing for the hiking of prices for tobacco, but they choose to ignore that. Then they simply exacerbate the problem by trying to ban the safer alternatives like snus or vaping. But then, as long as the money keeps flowing into their coffers to keep the gravy train going .....

It has NEVER been about Health, has it ?

No comments:

Post a Comment