News & Politics

Weiner Steps Up War Against Smoking, For Profit


Between the recent jump in taxes on city-sold cigarettes and Congress’ bill to put the FDA in charge of tobacco products, smokers have been getting it in the neck lately, and some may consider buying their smokes tax-free online to save a few bucks. Anthony Weiner wants to put a stop to that. He is pushing for federal legislation to prohibit the Post Office from delivering these internet cigarettes (other delivery services such as UPS have already been muscled out of delivering them). His professed concern is for the lives of his constituents, and for also for the lovely, healthful money the state is losing on internet smokes: $150 million a year by his estimate. Weiner, apparently still in an April Fool’s Day mood, professed concern for “the law-abiding merchants” who “are at a competitive disadvantage” because they are being taxed and the online merchants aren’t, and for smokers who pay the tax and “deserve, if they’re going to pay the tax, that the smoker sitting next to them in the park also pays the tax.” We like to imagine Weiner going up to actual bodega owners and park bench smokers, taking their money, and then giving them a big thumbs-up.

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