December 27, 2005


State's Tobacco Revenue Surges: California counters a national trend, using aggressive enforcement to bring in millions of cigarette tax dollars even as smoking declines (Evan Halper, December 27, 2005, LA Times)

State officials are reporting an increase of tens of millions of dollars in tobacco taxes for the first time in years, even as smoking in California declines.

California has taken in more than $124 million in new tobacco-tax receipts over the last 20 months. Officials credit a unique new program that includes stamping every cigarette pack sold in the state with a counterfeit-proof sticker.

Investigators, armed with hand-held devices, visit stores and scan the stickers to see whether a package of cigarettes is licensed for sale, where it came from and whether the distributor paid the required taxes. They seize illegal products as they find them and then begin tracking their sources.

The stickers, along with more inspectors and strict new licensing requirements, have helped the state bust scores of smugglers and retailers, seizing millions of illegal cigarettes. At the same time, the federal government has ramped up its sting operations in California, making high-profile arrests that have saved the state millions.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 27, 2005 8:54 AM

It sounds like some one in North Carolina should go into a new Mail Order Business

Posted by: Bruno at December 27, 2005 9:43 AM

I try to extract the value of cigarette taxes I pay back from the government. Which reminds me there are some more public records I need to request. In braille.

Posted by: Carter at December 27, 2005 4:23 PM

I used to buy cigarettes in California when visiting. This time I bought 13 cartons at an Idaho Indian Reservation on my way down for my 4 month winter stay. Now California gets nothing from me in cig taxes.

Posted by: obc at December 27, 2005 7:19 PM

Anyone of you CA BJudd fans from CA interested in extra cash at the Government's expense?

Go out and solicit smokers for Mail Order cigarettes. Find the ones that don't look like they know what the internet is yet.

You get their info, cash, and requests and go here (

Sounds like an entreprenuerial adventure for some young high school kid. If I was 18, I'd be all over this.

'Ragnar Danneskold's Cigarette Network'

Too bad I'm 45 and living in "tax one dollar more" Cook Co. IL

Posted by: Bruno at December 27, 2005 8:33 PM