Smoking is a great thing. Tobacco soothes in stressful times and smoking stimulates when you are tired and exhausted. Tobacco allows me to do my business on the toilet in the mornings and I am settled after that all day long. Tobacco increases my ability to concentrate and makes it easier for me to write my articles. But according to a study by the WHO in 1998, I should have died about 50 years ago. I hope for your understanding that I did not comply with this request of the WHO.
I was born by a hysterical, ecclesia-manic and depressed woman, who smoked two packs of 20 strong “Mary Long” cigarettes every day before, during and after pregnancy until her death. Thus, as a newborn, I encountered my first involuntary withdrawal, that if tobacco is really addictive. That one should not actively smoke during pregnancy was communicated even back then.
Nowadays I have my doubts about this dogma. Throughout my youth I was exposed to my mother’s secondhand smoke and I liked the smell, yes, I occasionally still miss it today. In addition, I’m genetically pre-loaded with carcinogenicity over two generations or more on the maternal side of the family. Does the state now want replace my mother, or what is actually going on here?
At the age of twelve, I smoked my first cigarette at the Dominikanerkollegium in Sarnen, Switzerland. It was a Gauloise bleu sans filtre with 1.8 mg of nicotine. My three other peers of my age turned pale and disappeared after taking the first drag, but I took a liking to smoking and ended up smoking the cigarette on my own.
By the time I was fourteen, I regularly smoked 7-10 cigarettes per day. At sixteen I began to blow at least two, at weekends three, packs of blue Gauloises, then for the then price of eighty Rappen (today CHF 7.80) per pack of 20, into the air. For investors, this government-imposed price inflation due to the tobacco tax yields a return of 975 percent. A then investment in cigarettes of 10,000 would be worth CHF 107,500 today, which would correspond to an annual return of 26.9 percent! In comparison: A good fund returns about 7 percent annually in the long run.
From age twenty until today, I steadily smoke sixty cigarettes per day. The only thing that has changed over the years is the brand, but not the quantity. The cigarettes have even become longer, because since my thirtieth birthday I have smoked only the 100 mm Super King Size Cigarettes instead of the 80 mm King Size ones – and still sixty plus cigarettes daily. Added to this are also some cigars and occasionally a joint.
For this freedom and for this enjoyment, I pay the state 4,000 Swiss francs per year tobacco tax, which is almost exactly the same amount that I would have to pay annually in ordinary state tax as a single person. The same state should now, at least in return, use its brains, restrict itself liberally and generously, and not join an artificially fuelled hysteria or even fuel and support it. On the contrary, it should appreciate its sources of tax revenue and nurture smokers instead of actively pushing them, as quantité négligeable, from at least a third of the population into an outcast fringe group and exclude them from public life.
The WHO states in its convention that its program serves to abolish poverty, as many [smokers] would spend their money on tobacco and thus remain poor throughout their lives. However, the WHO does not recommend to abolish or at least reduce tobacco taxation … No – the opposite is the case: all countries have, at the behest of the WHO, massively increased tobacco taxes in recent years, with an arrogance bordering on impertinence. This behavior is hypocritical. Either the government consequently prohibits the consumption of tobacco, that if it is indeed as dangerous as claimed, and thus waives the revenue from the tobacco tax, or it abstains from regulation as it did in the past.
102 years ago, Absinthe, a heavenly brew that is a Swiss invention from the Val de Travers, was banned in Switzerland. The hysteria of that time compared to today’s tobacco hysteria are like two peas in a pod. Two years ago, Absinthe was, in favor of agriculture, legalized again. A spirit tax of 29.00 francs per litre of pure alcohol, i.e. 11.60 francs for one liter of this whiskey [40%] is levied, in order to reduce the consumption of alcoholic beverages (that is at least how the law states it). With a 7 dl bottle of “Four Roses” (Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – USA), costing 20 francs in the final sale, the tax component thus amounts to CHF 8.10, or 40 percent of the sale price!
For comparison a mundane and admittedly exaggerated, but still very graphic, example so that everyone understands how it works. How much the state, in particular the patronizing faction of the “Red-Greens”, i.e. the socialists, who allegedly want to fight poverty and speak for the concerns of the ordinary citizen, have in fact homed in on the poor quintile as milking cows for drink and tobacco consumption, is shown for example, on the tax burden on Bordeaux wines. At present, on June 30th 2018, a limited-edition importer will be offering a maximum of 10 boxes @ one bottle of “Château Pétrus 2015, Pomerol” in Switzerland for CHF 4,200 each to a bargain price. A maximum of ten bottles, or seven liters of fermented grape juice for 42,000 francs. The bottle “Pétrus” contains about 14 percent alcohol and the tax burden, according to the above calculation, at this assumption lies at CHF 4.05! The rich man, who has the necessary change, pays just 1‰ tax instead of the poor man paying 40% tax on the value of goods!
What else can underprivileged people afford instead? A bottle of tasty, but cheap US whiskey or a French “Grand Vin”, which most Asian buyers can only bring themselves to pour down their throats with Coca Cola and a Sichuan soup, anyway? And why does the poor man have to pay more taxes?
Let’s recall the WHO statement about poverty being the greatest health risk, not tobacco, not alcohol, and neither drugs; yet despite this, tobacco taxes have been massively increased! Who gets hit hardest by this hypocrisy par excellence needs not be discussed further. And there is no need to mention who wields the power unduly and misanthropically. It will not stay peaceful for long. The government, which already is preparing for such events today, knows that, too.
This article was originally published on the author’s blog.