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Stogie News: Tobacco Initiatives Wrap-Up

8 Nov 2006

Whether you’re an elated Democrat or a somber Republican this morning, Election Day yielded mixed results for America’s smokers (and others who are concerned about individual rights and limited government). Below is a rundown of the good, the bad, and the ugly results from yesterday’s anti-tobacco initiatives. While is now calling all of these propositions, you can still get live coverage here.

The Good
California’s Proposition 86, which would have placed a 135 percent tax on tobacco products in the Golden State, failed by a vote of 52.2 percent to 47.8 (with 99.6 percent of the precincts reporting). I guess this extreme tax hike was a bit much – even for the militant tax-and-spend, anti-smoking zealots that make up America’s Left Coast.

Meanwhile, Missouri’s Amendment 3, which would have increased the excise tax on tobacco to 30 percent, failed by a vote of 51.7 percent to 48.3 (with 95.6 percent of the precincts reporting). Way to go, Show Me State!

The Bad
Arizona passed Proposition 201 by a vote of 54.2 percent to 45.8 (with 100 percent of the precincts reporting). The new law will ban smoking in all bars and restaurants statewide, except for patios (how generous). A similar proposition that would have exempted bars did not pass.

South Dakota (the rectangle below North Dakota) also passed a tobacco tax hike by a vote of 55 percent to 45 (with 100 percent of the precincts reporting). Mount Rushmore State citizens now have a 35 percent tax on all tobacco products – including a new $1-per-pack cigarette tax – to look forward to.

The Ugly
Nevada’s Question 5, a ban on smoking in all bars that serve food and other public places, carried by a vote of 53.8 percent to 46.1 (with 99 percent of the precincts reporting). Don’t worry; politicians were kind enough to throw in an exemption for tax-generating casinos. A similar proposition that would have included an exemption for bars failed.

Meanwhile, Ohio’s State Issue 5 passed by a resounding vote of 58.2 to 41.7 percent (with 99 percent of the precincts reporting). The new law will ban smoking in public places and most private businesses, excluding tobacco shops already in operation. A similar proposition with more exemptions failed miserably.

Well, there you have it. While voters in California and Missouri fortunately turned down attempts to increase their taxes, South Dakotans welcomed a tobacco tax hike with open arms. Most disturbingly, every single fascist smoking ban passed.

In a country that was founded on individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government, can someone please explain why these propositions were on ballots in the first place?

I need a stiff drink and a strong cigar. Too bad the number of locales where I can partake in said activities is shrinking rapidly.

Patrick A


7 Responses to “Stogie News: Tobacco Initiatives Wrap-Up”

  1. CCR Wednesday, November 8, 2006 at 7:12 am #

    Sadly it looks like alot more bad and ugly than good!

  2. Anonymous Wednesday, November 8, 2006 at 8:32 am #

    Odd results…

    People seem eager to pass restrictive smoking bans, but they draw the line at taxing tobacco?

  3. Patrick A Wednesday, November 8, 2006 at 8:43 am #

    I'd wager voters are more likely to pass bans than taxes because seeing the word "tax" on a ballot is a definite turn-off.

  4. James Day Wednesday, November 8, 2006 at 9:07 am #

    How does a country founded on individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government get bills like this? Simple. A while ago we decided that freedom/liberty=Democracy. The majority of Americans still believe that we need a large State in order to keep order. If it wasn't for the State – Blacks would be able to sit the front of the bus. Gays would be able to destroy the sacredness of marriage, and smokers can use their second hand poison to kill vegans.
    The problem is that the majority of human beings like order over anarchy and feel that a large state is the way to bring that order. And since this is a democracy, the tryanny of the majority rules and it is ok to pick on groups smaller than you.

    It's funny how people just can't get the fact that democracy and liberty are related but in way synonymous with liberty.

  5. Anonymous Wednesday, November 8, 2006 at 7:06 pm #

    I don't want to sound like a nut, but just think about it…in some states my 14 year old neice can get an abortion without her parents being notified, but if her daddy lights up a cigar in public while he's trying to figure out where his daughter is, he'll get fined- its a strange world we live in these days.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

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    […] Last December – following the passage of ballot initiatives in Nevada and Ohio – over half of all Americans were living in a state, county or municipality with a smoking ban in place. […]

  2. Stogie News: Smoker Persecution in Great Britain - Tuesday, June 5, 2007

    […] Those who choose to smoke face a new smoking ban or exorbitant tax nearly every day, under the guise of “public health” – a rarely defined and limitless justification for restricting the choices that individuals are permitted to make about their own lives. […]