Friday, 8 May 2009

Cigarette street sellers

The threatened excise increase on cigarettes in next week's budget will be welcomed by the fellow who sidled up to me while having a puff outside a restaurant in Canberra last night. From his jacket pocket he brought out a selection of imported brands - all carrying the requisite health pictures I must add - and gave me a couple of samples with the message that if I found a brand I liked he would always be round about to offer me a deal on a carton.
So it has come to pass that government action has now succeeded in creating another profitable market for illegal operators. Smuggling fags is big business and after Tuesday it will be even more lucrative if the budget leaks turn out to be true.
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