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Wed, 23 May 2018
The World for People who Think



Australian Border Force warns illegal tobacco trade national security risk, may be fueling terrorism

Seized tobacco
© ABC News
Australians may not equate illegal tobacco smuggling with drug trafficking or terrorism fundraising, but senior border security officials are warning it may be fuelling both and posing a national security risk.

In an exclusive interview with the ABC's 7.30 program and Fairfax Media, Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner Wayne Buchhorn — who has been seconded to Australian Border Force (ABF) — said he had "significant" concerns that some of the proceeds of the booming illicit tobacco smuggling trade into Australia were flowing to extremist groups overseas.

"We are seeing crime gangs here in Australia, oftentimes Middle Eastern organised crime gangs, and the connections back into the Middle East ... [are] a significant concern for us in the current environment," he said. "The funding of extremist activities, we are seeing some elements of that."

A notorious Middle Eastern crime syndicate operating in Arncliffe, Sydney, which is involved in both drug and tobacco smuggling, has shrugged off the repeated arrest and prosecution of its members to continue importing contraband.

Police intelligence has linked the syndicate to fundraising for a Lebanese charity aligned with extremist group Hezbollah.

Comment: My, what lengths the anti-smoking fascists will go to see tobacco use extinguished!

By the way, smoking natural tobacco might actually be beneficial for some people:


Anti-smoking nanny state: Nebraskan city proposes smoking ban in private apartments

damaged apartment
© AP Photo/Nati Harnik
In this Sept. 14, 2016, photo, restoration work is performed at a Bellevue, Neb., apartment complex which was hit twice by fire.
Some leaders in a blue-collar Nebraska suburb that's home to Offutt Air Force Base are borrowing an idea from a vastly more liberal state: Ban apartment renters from smoking cigarettes and e-cigarettes inside.

The proposal, which would be one of the few such restrictions outside of California and is similar to federal rules for public housing across the U.S., isn't meant to protect the health of the city's 50,000 residents, but instead to prevent fires.

Councilman Don Preister proposed the ban, which wouldn't affect duplexes and single-family homes, in August after cigarette smoking at a single Bellevue apartment complex led to two fires a month earlier. The second fire destroyed the building, displacing dozens of people, and injured four, including a firefighter.

Comment: Smoking bans are fascism, plain and simple, though their proponents would have the population think that bans are initiated for health and safety reason. To the thinking person smoking bans should stimulate their curiosity as to why they are consistently proposed.


Dunhill brand tobacco shrinks pack to 23 cigarettes in face of 12.5% tax hike

Duhill cigarettes
© pousadaluadecristal.com.br
A tobacco giant has made the decision to reduce the amount of cigarettes per pack rather than hiking the price, as another tax rise looms. British American Tobacco brand, Dunhill, will be reduced to 23 per pack from next month but the wholesale price will remain the same as the pre-tax Dunhill 25 pack.

A British American Tobacco Australian spokesperson told The Herald Sun that the introduction is in response to feedback directly from their consumers. 'Dunhill smokers told us that instead of paying a higher price after the next tax hike in September, they'd prefer to have slightly fewer sticks and have the price stay the same. 'The product remains the same with all Dunhill 25s variants transitioning to this pack size by the end of the year.'

A 12.5 per cent federal tobacco excise increase plus indexation will start from September 1 which will see smoker's coughing up at least $1.30 to $3.35 more tax per pack, depending on its size. At the moment smoker's pay a total of 53.7 cents per cigarette ranging from $10.57 for a pack of 20 to $26.85 for a pack of 50.


Australian tobacco executive beaten, stabbed in attempted kidnapping

© Sydney Morning Herald
The attempted kidnapping, bashing and stabbing of an international tobacco company manager outside his family home in Sydney suggests crime syndicates are hitting back at efforts to combat the booming illicit tobacco trade.

A criminal syndicate is suspected of ordering the botched kidnapping in June of a former decorated NSW policeman turned manager of British American Tobacco. Despite high-profile raids by police, illegal tobacco continues to pour into the Australian market and is easy to find in city shops.

The BAT manager was stabbed and bashed by at least three men, after he refused their order that he get into a car. The kidnappers arrived at the man's Sydney home at around 10pm on Saturday June 4. A source said the manager was forced to "fight for his life" to ward off the kidnappers, who have not been identified. He was rushed to hospital after the attack.

The attack appears to be an unprecedented escalation in the struggle between policing agencies and the syndicates driving the illicit tobacco trade. Evidence suggests the attack was linked to BAT's support of police inquiries.


Propaganda: 'Terror' financing and the black market tobacco trade

© Belga H. Kiaser
The nanny state regulations that help fill the coffers of our enemies

In Pennsylvania last month, state representatives Russ Diamond and Rick Saccone challenged a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase (which was later passed into law), arguing that the price hike would regressively target poorer smokers and encourage black market sales. More critically, the two lawmakers pointed out that increased sales of smuggled tobacco would put more money in the pockets of violent extremists who wish to do Americans harm.

That argument raised eyebrows in the press, but the point made by Diamond and Saccone is a critically important one. A major 2015 report from the State Department identified tobacco smuggling as a major threat to national security, noting that selling illegal cigarettes is a relatively "low-risk, high reward" activity for criminal networks and terror groups, who often join forces to exploit the illicit trade. The Pennsylvania representatives had especially good reason to be concerned about their state's exposure to smuggling, since it sits on one of the most lucrative smuggling routes in the country.

Cheap cigarettes from Virginia regularly pass through Pennsylvania and Delaware on their way to being illegally sold in New York and New Jersey, where high taxes applied by liberal state governments have pushed smokers into the arms of smugglers. Last year, a court in Brooklyn sentenced Basel Ramadan to 12 years in prison for his role as the ringleader of a major trafficking ring that supplied Arab markets in New York and New Jersey. More recently, Pennsylvania state troopers caught a man with 66,600 smuggled Virginia cigarettes in his trunk at around the same time Reps. Diamond and Saccone were addressing the legislature.

Comment: Following the Nazi model: Adolph Hitler: Vegetarian, teetotaler, anti-smoking campaigner

See also: Let's All Light Up!


Does an Italian village filled with cigarette smoking centenarians hide the secret to long life?

Italian village of Acciaroli
© Fotolia
A view of Acciaroli, a southern Italy village
An international research team studying 300 centenarians in a remote Mediterranean fishing village say that eating rosemary could be the key to the pensioners' remarkable longevity.

A team of medical experts and scholars at the Sapienza University of Rome and University of California San Diego have been granted the first ever permission to closely study the elderly residents of the coastal hamlet of Acciaroli, south of Salerno.

Nestled between unspoilt mountain scenery and the pristine sea, Acciaroli has earned a reputation among tourists as one of the pearls of the Mediterranean — and, for foodies, of the famed Mediterranean diet. Now, the local mayor has agreed to allow the Italian and U.S. researchers to collaborate with local doctors and their patients to more systematically investigate the village's secret to a long life.

Comment: Smoking would greatly benefit Alzheimer's patients as the condition involves a loss of the levels of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, by up to 90%, and smoking helps to boost the availability of acetylcholine.

For more information, check out the episodes of our Health and Wellness Show on the topic of the health benefits of smoking:

Control Panel

Fascist! Millions of Americans could be banned from smoking in public housing

The federal government has proposed the ban to protect the health of residents and reduce building maintenance costs
The legislation would require homes, communal areas and administrative offices on public housing land to be smoke-free, the New York Times reports. It is thought the changes would affect around a million homes.

It has argued the ban is necessary to protect residents from second-hand smoke, to lower building maintenance costs, and to reduce the risk of fires. But the proposal has already met with resistance from some residents who believe it would be an infringement of their right to make personal choices about their lives. One told the newspaper: "What I do in my apartment should be my problem long as I pay my rent."

Many of the country's public housing agencies, which provide subsidised housing for people on low-incomes, have already voluntarily enforced the ban since calls for the move surfaced in 2009. Those living in New York City Housing Authority homes - more than 400,000 people - are expected to be among those most severely affected by a ban.

Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, told the New York Times: "It's a fraught process because to do it properly you need community buy-in. To do this successfully it can't be a top-down edict because you want people to comply with the policy."

The council said smoking bans have become more popular over time and that, as the number of smoking tenants has dropped, more people have come to expect smoke-free spaces."This is a health equity issue," Patrick Kwan, director of NYC Smoke-Free, added. "For people living in public housing and are subjected to second-hand smoke, the only option is to be at the mercy of their neighbours who smoke in their homes. "People who can afford it choose a smoke-free unit. Smoke-free housing shouldn't only be for the wealthy and privileged."

Comment: What a load of bull! Listen to the SOTT editors interview Richard White, author of the book Smoke Screens, where they discuss the studies on smoking, what researchers have to say, the scientists involved, the anti-smoking movement and more! Smoking tobacco is not bad for everyone and is even good for you. See:


Legislators propose measure to bring new markets in Cuba to Connecticut tobacco farmers

© Wally McName/Corbis
Fidel Castro smoking a Cohiba cigar
As public health initiatives cut into sales of cigars and cigarettes, Connecticut tobacco farmers are looking for new markets in Cuba.

Several months after President Barack Obama renewed diplomatic relations between the United States and the island nation's communist government, ending a 54-year freeze, proposed legislation in Congress would lift trade restrictions. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., appeared Friday with South Windsor farmers and agriculture officials urging passage of the trade measure.

Ed Kasheta Jr., whose Kasheta Farms was founded by his great-great-grandfather in 1906, welcomes the prospect of selling tobacco to Cuba, which is known for its own cigar-making industry. "I think it's one more place to reach out to," he said.

Tobacco is Connecticut's fifth largest agriculture product by market value, at $35.7 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The crop is grown on 49 farms and accounts for 6.5 percent of total agricultural product sales in the state.

Murphy is a co-sponsor of the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act, which would remove the president's authority to continue the embargo and eliminate enforcement of the embargo and prohibition on Cuban imports. Following the re-opening of the U.S. embassy in Cuba this summer, a "tectonic shift" in policy toward the Caribbean country has occurred, drawing bipartisanship support for the export legislation, Murphy said. "A year ago, this bill wouldn't have had a chance," he said.

Comment: What about the Cuban tobacco farmers, related jobs and their market?


Irish farmer faces £1,000 fine for smoking on his tractor - Deemed 'smoking in the workplace'

The farmer, who has not been named, was having a smoke break while parked up on a road when a tobacco control officer spotted him

A farmer who sparked up a cigarette inside his tractor could be fined £1,000 after he was found to be smoking in the workplace.

The farmer, who has not been named, was having a smoke break while parked up on a road when a tobacco control officer spotted him.

As the tractor was deemed capable of carrying more than one person, the farmer was told he was in breach of smoking regulations.

He has been issued with a notice that states he could have to pay a four-figure fine.

In Northern Ireland, where the incident took place, breaking smoke-free law is a criminal offence and people caught smoking in a work vehicle face a fixed penalty notice of £50 or a maximum £1,000 fine if convicted.

The Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order came into law in 2007, making it illegal to smoke in workplaces, enclosed public spaces and on public transport.

Comment: Tobacco control officer?
Hitler was a fervent anti smoker and a crusader for the anti-smoking cause. He personally funded research into the dangers of smoking and little wonder those results given the nature of his regime tended to support his assertions that smoking was an evil the Aryan race must be rid of. Many of the studies carried out during the Third Reich are the basis for the arguments put forward today by those seeking the imposition of repressive smoking bans.

Hitler once stated that tobacco was "the wrath of the Red Man against the White Man" Under the Nazi's the Bureau Against the Dangers of Alcohol and Tobacco was established in 1939 followed in 1942 by the Institute for the Struggle against the dangers of Tobacco. Nazi's were the first to coin the term "passive smoking"

Under the Nazi regime the German people had imposed on them the most comprehensive set of tobacco regulations and restrictions seen in any modern nation to that date. Hitler himself took particular interest in this area often personally overseeing the drafting and implementation of anti smoking policy.

Let's All Light Up!
These restrictions are not for health and longevity, read:


Fascism: Annapolis hospital to discriminate against smokers for job openings

Smoking is healthier than fascism

Smoking: it's healthier than Fascism!

Comment: "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever." George Orwell, 1984

A cigarette can linger several days in the body and beginning this month it's enough to disqualify job applicants at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Comment: So along with being unable to smoke virtually anywhere, you'll now be unable to get a job if you smoke. The war and discrimination against smokers continues.

The Annapolis hospital has announced it will test the urine of applicants for signs of tobacco. Fail the test? Lose the job, though applicants may apply again for testing after six months.

"We are role models for the community," hospital spokeswoman Kelly Swan said. "We care about our employees and want them to live healthy lives."

Comment: How about testing them for trans fats? Or eating fast food? Or excessive sugar consumption? How about gluten? Or binge drinking? Or a wide variety of other things that are detrimental to people's health? Even if smoking were harmful, which it's not, this clearly has nothing to do with wanting their employees to live healthy lives:

Comment: This is an insane policy that's being carried out by brainwashed idiots. That may be hard for many to accept, but when you take the evidence of the benefits of smoking natural tobacco into account, and the completely irrational nature of their arguments when also factoring in the large quantity of things that people are allowed (and usually encouraged) to do to themselves, consciously or not, that are harmful, which aren't regulated "for their benefit", then it's pretty hard to draw any other conclusion. Then again, it's hard to expect much from people who share an ideology with Hitler:

Adolph Hitler: Vegetarian, teetotaler, anti-smoking campaigner
Adolph Hitler the Anti-Smoking Crusader

Hitler wasn't just a non-smoker; he was vehemently opposed to smoking and couldn't abide the smell of cigarette smoke. Edward Deuss is recorded on Nizkor.org as saying that no one was allowed to smoke in any room Hitler was likely to enter, and that when Hitler noticed his men leaving a meeting room at hourly intervals, someone had to lie to him and say they were going to the toilet, when in fact they needed a cigarette. Cross records that Hitler spotted a member of his press corps taking a quick puff outside the aeroplane at a refuelling stop, flew into a rage and sacked him on the spot.
The last sentence may make Hitler look like some kind of deranged lunatic, but in reality, he was just so concerned for the guy's well-being that he couldn't control himself and fired him for his own good! (pardon the sarcasm)