I'd just like to add some information about the situation in Germany, just to let you know how things are handled in other countries, Germany in particular.
Smoking in Germany became more expense. From March 1 the price of a packet of cigarettes went up by 40 cents, as a new tax on tobacco went into effect and cigarette makers raised their profit margins. The tobacco tax will increase by 1.2 cents per cigarette on December 1 and again on September 1, 2005 to help finance the government's health reforms.
As a result, more smokers have been turning to rolling tobacco and cigars, which have been spared the higher taxation rates dumped on cigarettes over the past couple of years.
Sheff said: "At one point the price went so high that people resorted to smuggling."
I can second that and have read an interview with a spokesman for British American Tobacco. He said that increased tobacco taxes might blow smokers out of their clutch and onto the black market. Their concern is that the new taxes will not stop people smoking, but that they will turn to the black market and cheaper forms of tobacco.
Talking about 'cheaper' and buying cigarettes cheaper ...
one example can be found since many years here in Germany. Smokers who live near Poland, go there since many years, because they often pay less for cigarettes there and by doing that they also try to circumnavigate further tax hikes planned by the German government.
Well, I'm off for now.
Travel is fatal to prejudice and narrow-mindedness.