Daily Archives: August 19, 2010

Canadians, Americans, Britons support tobacco crackdowns

Canadians, Americans and Britons widely support the notion of their governments enacting regulations that curb smoking, cigarette sales and tobacco advertising, according to a new poll.

The Angus Reid Public Opinion poll found that most respondents supported the laws that ban smoking indoors, in a vehicle that has a child present and in bars, restaurants and casinos.

The poll, which was released on Wednesday, questioned 1,000 Canadians, 1,013 Americans and 2,023 Britons.

Canadians led the other two countries in supporting the crackdown on sales.

About 75% of Canadians supported banning cigarette sales at stores that contained a pharmacy while 63% of Brits and 43% of Americans did.

Meanwhile, 86% of the Canadians polled supported banning the sales at post-secondary institutions compared to 66% of the American respondents and 79% of the British respondents.

The majority of respondents also supported printing hazard warnings on tobacco packaging with Americans at 91% and Canadians and Britons at 88%.

But only about 50% of respondents from each country thought that images of people smoking should be kept off TV and film.

The majority also opposed making smoking illegal in their respective countries. About 57% of Canadians were against the idea while 61% of Americans were opposed to the move and 54% of Britons.

The survey has an error margin of plus or minus 3.1% in Canada and the U.S. and 2.2% in the UK.

Saving cigarette shipments?

A meeting today in Henrietta was historic. The six nations making up the Iroquois Confederacy say it was the first time they’ve all met together in more than 200 years.

At stake are options in the wake of New York State taxing Native American cigarette shipments.

The Seneca Nation of Indians and the others say New York State does not have the authority to impose its laws on them. That they are sovereign nations — just as the United States of America is and they said that message is meant for Gov. Paterson and Andrew Cuomo.

The Six Nations said they are considering what their options are in the wake of New York State enforcing the new law that taxes most cigarettes headed for the Indian reservations. And they say this meeting is all because of Gov. Paterson and the state legislature.

“It has brought unity. It has brought us together in historic fashion. And we’re supporting one another, and it’s very significant and very important.” Ray Halbritter speaks for the Oneida Nation. “And we look and hope for peace and the Treaty of Canandaigua we signed with George Washington, the father of this country, the President who could not tell a lie. And we’re holding this country to its word.”

Two of the speakers talked about resolving this peacefully. But Senecas disrupted travel on the Thruway through their reservations in the summer of 1992 to protest the state’s plans to collect taxes on cigarettes sold on the reservations to non-Indians. They also staged protests in 1997 — upset with a state tax aimed at gambling revenue.

News 10NBC asked the Seneca Nation president if they really want peace and to sit down at the bargaining table. Barry Snyder said, “You’re exactly right. But you’ve got to remember, there are 7,800 Senecas and they have 7,800 different ideas about what the state should be doing to us. Again, I don’t have control over everybody. But I will do my damnest to make sure there is peace in our Nation and in our territories in western New York. I only speak for the Senecas.”

Under the new state law that takes effect September 1, the six nations get an allotment of tax exempt cigarettes for their people from a formula based on census counts.

For example, the state says there are nearly 8,000 Senecas and they are allowed 168,000 packs of tax free cigarettes every three months.

The state says the six nations sell millions of cartons of cigarettes and is counting on that new tax revenue.

How does this new law work?
All packs of cigarettes must have a tax stamp and wholesalers are ordered to collect the tax. The state Department of Taxation today said their agents are committed to collecting the tax. And Governor Paterson’s office issued a brief statement on the meeting today, “We have no comment on this.”