Virginia Law Makers Rally Around Big Tobacco.

 In an effort to safeguard the interest of Altria and other large cigarette manufactures, Virginia law makers are working on legislation that would classify certain retailers as manufactures. All that would be required is that a seller sell roll your own type products and can make available to their customers the equipment for them to roll their own cigarettes. Keep in mind that these retailers do not themselves manufacture cigarettes or any thing else for that matter.  Imagine a retailer who sells you flour and baking soda so that you can bake you own bread.  Now imagine a law requiring this retailer to adhere to all the laws and regulations that govern Wonder Bread. Sound ridiculous, but this is exactly what is happening.

You may not see how this affects you, the non smoker. Consider that once this monkey is out of the cage, the next banana grab may be something dear to you.  Might home beer and wine makers be next? Where does it stop?  If nothing else, what about fair play!

Personally, I have no aversion to large tobacco companies. They make a legal product available to a willing cliental. But I can’t be silent as I see government enlisted to clear the playing field of competition on their behalf. It is unfair to these small business people that have invested so much. It is also unfair to the consumer. To say the least, it is un-American.  It should not be the business of our elected officials to rid us of the small businesses that dare to compete with the big guys.

If this becomes law, then anyone who sells anything that can be made into something else is at risk of at some point being classed as a manufacture. Why not, the ground work will have been laid.  It is a slippery slope.  If you don’t believe it, just look at what smoking bans have already become. There are certain foods banned in New York and California.  In some localities, toys are banned in happy meals.

There is also a health issue that goes with this. When an individual make a cigarette for themselves it is typically 100% tobacco. When a manufacturer does it, there is as little as 37 % tobacco used. The rest is fillers and  chemicals. This affects all of us. How can we justify allowing our government to close the door on those who wish to avoid these additives.

Please contact your representatives and tell them no to House Bill HB 314 and the Senate equivalent SB 74.

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4 Responses

  1. How much would they regulate the tobacco? Would they insist that additives be added to the tobacco? I see a positive in this, as an exception to the smoking ban involves restaurants on cite at a manufacturer. If a restaurant is considered a manufacturer because they sell tobacco and RYO materials like tubes, papers, etc, then they would be exempt from the smoking ban unless the ban is modified. This would be a way for small restaurants who don’t have th emoney to comply with the separately ventilated area exception, or is to small to have one. Weigh that against the issue of regulation, and see what is more important.

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