A highly successful combination of two strong actors was realized by Edward Zwick in the 1994 Legends of the Fall and then once again in 1998 by Martin Brest in Meet Joe Black. The powerful duo was formed in both cases by Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt. In Meet Joe Black, Pitt played the incarnation of death who was preparing the character played by Hopkins for his final destination.
During a corporate meeting, one of Hopkins’ characters’ employees mentions that joining John Bontecou is every bit as certain as death and taxes. Pitt’s character finds the combination a rather odd pairing (Goldman, 1998). Nevertheless, it is extremely true — nobody can escape either death or taxes. But what about the items which bring death? Can they escape taxes? The answer is a clear NO, with cigarettes being the most relevant examples in this sense.
Facts and Figures
The taxes imposed on the cigarettes purchased differ from one state to the other. A global legislation relative to the issues has yet to be instated. Even within the United States of America, each state implements the quotas it sees fair. The federal cigarette tax is of $1.01 per pack of cigarettes, but each state is given the liberty to modify it as it sees fit; the medium tax across the U.S. is of $1.00 per pack of cigarettes. The three most expensive states for buying cigarettes are: New Jersey, with a tax of $2.57, Rhode Island with a tax per pack of $2.46 and Washington with a $2.02 tax per pack. The cheapest states from where to purchase cigarettes are: South Carolina with a $0.07 tax, Missouri with $0.17 and Mississippi with a tax per pack of $0.18 (Federation of Tax Administrators, 2008).
The same fluctuations are registered within the European Union as well, where each individual country implements its own fares on smoking. This generally leads to massive fluctuations in the retail prices — while in Ireland, a pack of 20 cigarettes sells for an estimated $9.89, the same pack can be purchased from Bulgaria for $1.68. The amount of taxes within the final retail price of the pack of cigarettes is generally between 70 and 90 per cent. Otherwise put, for the cigarettes sold in Ireland, the tax is of $7.76 and the tax for the cigarettes sold in Bulgaria is of $1.38 (Tobacco Manufacturers Association, 2008).
3. Global Tendency
Despite the determination of some countries to maintain the years’ low levels of cigarette taxes, fact remains that the global trend is that of increasing the taxes as a means of reducing the consumption of cigarettes. The endeavor is generally considered noble as it strives to safeguard the health of the individuals. Nevertheless, each individual should be free to make his own choices and decide himself what is best for him. And considering that the individual chooses to smoke, it might be seen as unethical how the state forces him to pay a highly inflated price.
As the morality of the cigarette taxes is not the subject of the hereby research however, one limits itself to the realization of the growing tendency in increasing the tax rates. Within the European Union for instance, legislations are being voted according to which the minimum rate of excise on cigarettes is to be subjected to a 50 per cent increase. This rate is currently situated at $100 per 1,000 cigarettes, namely $2 per pack of 20 cigarettes. With the new legislation however, it will increase to $134 per 1,000 cigarettes, namely $2.68 per pack. The global efforts to increasing the cigarette tax are promoted as efforts to reducing the number of smokers, but they also have the aim of reducing the international fluctuations in the retail prices of cigarettes (ProCor, 2008).
Another interesting element in the behavior of cigarette taxes is that they are regressive in nature. This basically means that “smoking rates increase as the income level of the group declines, so that the poor segment of the population tends to be hit particularly hard by cigarette taxes” (Cordes, Ebel and Gravelle, 2005, p.440).
4. Functions of the Cigarette Tax
The cigarette tax serves three primary functions:
reducing the consumption of cigarettes increasing the revenues to the state budgets, and creating a social sense of equity
This research will only deal with the second and third functions as these relate better to the concepts of micro and macroeconomics. In this order of ideas, as it has been previously mentioned, the national authorities promote health as the main generator of increased cigarette taxes. Yet, one must recognize that the federal authorities gain significant financial resources from imposing large fares on smoking. The money retrieved from taxes is then the central point of the economic function of taxing cigarettes. And the amount of the money collected is sufficiently high, even more so when the percentage of tax in the final retail prince is greater for cigarettes than it is for alcohol or utilities (Cordes, Ebel and Gravelle, p.440).
Policy makers often turn to cigarettes as a means of attracting more revenues to the state budget. And this necessity is extremely increased today, as the War on Terrorism commenced by the Bush administration brought about a record high federal debt. Nevertheless, an increase in the cigarette tax only looks good on paper. The past endeavors have shown that no major increases are obvious in the contributions to the state budgets as people either smoke less, either purchase their cigarettes from states which impose lower taxes (Williams, 2008, p.4).
Another function of the tax is of a social nature, and sees that when smoking, people generate an increased social cost. Otherwise put, people who smoke are more likely to contract illnesses — those directly related to smoking, but also other diseases which can impact non-smokers also, but to which smokers are more prominent due to their weakened immune system. This situation places an increased pressure on the health care system, which must serve the necessity of the ill smokers. The “medical care cost per pack [is] of $0.58, a sick leave cost per pack [is] of $0.01, a group life insurance cost per pack [is] of $0.14 and a cost per pack of fires [is] of $0.02″ (Cordes, Ebel and Gravelle, p.441). The cigarette tax then, through its inclusion in the retail price, serves the function of making the smoker pay the counter value of his future medical bills.
In some cases however, the smoker will not live enough to translate all the taxes paid into medical care. This basically translates into the fact that smoking may in fact generate a positive financial effect upon the society, as it leads to the premature death of the smokers, who for years contributed to the state budget, but who do not reach the retirement age to cost the state in pensions and other public services. “The offsetting savings were nursing home care cost savings of — $0.24 and retirement pension savings of — $1.26. On balance, then, cigarette smoking saves society — $0.32 per pack, even excluding the role of excise taxes” (Cordes, Ebel and Gravelle, p.441).
5. Questions for Further Research
Based on the research hereby conducted, two additional research questions could be raised:
(1) Given the fluctuating taxes implemented from one state to the other, can these be used to explain fluctuating trends in smoking habits?
(2) Can a net difference be identified between smoking habits in the United States and those in the European Union?
Nothing is surer than death and taxes! And this is true even for the products which could lead to the consumers’ untimely death, such as cigarettes. Sustained efforts are currently being made to enforce a region-wide legislation that increases the taxes imposed on cigarettes and consequently their retail price. Today, each country implements the quotas it finds most suitable, leading as such to major fluctuations in the taxes, their percentage in the price and the final retail price.
The federal authorities generally explain the high cigarette taxes as a means of reducing the consumption of cigarette, with the ultimate aim of reducing the number of smokers and protecting the health of the individuals. Nevertheless, fact remains that the fares carry a major economic function — that of gathering money for the state budget. This positive effect on the federal budget has however yet to be observed, as history has shown us that increased taxes reduce demand, rather than create additional income. The situation with the promoted social impact is also blurred, as I believe is the entire debate over smoking and its economic and social implications.
Cordes, J.J., Ebel, R.D., Gravelle, 2005, Encyclopedia of Taxation and Tax Policy, 2nd Edition, The Urban Institute
Goldman, B., 1998, Meet Joe Black Screenplay, Internet Movie Database, http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Meet-Joe-Black.htmlGravelle last accessed on November 18, 2009
Williams, J., September 17, 2008, Sibelius’ Cigarette Tax Proposal Ignores Economic Realities, The Kansas City Kansas, http://www.nocigtax.com/upload/file/16/20080917-kansascitykansan-editorial.pdf last accessed on November 18, 2009
2008, EU Cigarettes Price and Tax Breakdown — July 2008, Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, http://www.the-tma.org.uk/page.aspx?page_id=35 last accessed on November 18, 2009
2008, Europe: Cigarette Tax Increase, ProCor, http://www.procor.org/prevention/prevention_show.htm?doc_id=696694 last accessed on November 18, 2009
2008, State Excise Tax Rates on Cigarettes, Federation of Tax Administrators, http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/cigarett.html last accessed on November 18, 2009
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY!!!
We provide professional writing services to help you score straight A’s by submitting custom written assignments that mirror your guidelines.
Get result-oriented writing and never worry about grades anymore. We follow the highest quality standards to make sure that you get perfect assignments.
Our writers have experience in dealing with papers of every educational level. You can surely rely on the expertise of our qualified professionals.
Your deadline is our threshold for success and we take it very seriously. We make sure you receive your papers before your predefined time.
Someone from our customer support team is always here to respond to your questions. So, hit us up if you have got any ambiguity or concern.
Sit back and relax while we help you out with writing your papers. We have an ultimate policy for keeping your personal and order-related details a secret.
We assure you that your document will be thoroughly checked for plagiarism and grammatical errors as we use highly authentic and licit sources.
Still reluctant about placing an order? Our 100% Moneyback Guarantee backs you up on rare occasions where you aren’t satisfied with the writing.
You don’t have to wait for an update for hours; you can track the progress of your order any time you want. We share the status after each step.
Although you can leverage our expertise for any writing task, we have a knack for creating flawless papers for the following document types.
Although you can leverage our expertise for any writing task, we have a knack for creating flawless papers for the following document types.
From brainstorming your paper's outline to perfecting its grammar, we perform every step carefully to make your paper worthy of A grade.
Hire your preferred writer anytime. Simply specify if you want your preferred expert to write your paper and we’ll make that happen.
Get an elaborate and authentic grammar check report with your work to have the grammar goodness sealed in your document.
You can purchase this feature if you want our writers to sum up your paper in the form of a concise and well-articulated summary.
You don’t have to worry about plagiarism anymore. Get a plagiarism report to certify the uniqueness of your work.
Join us for the best experience while seeking writing assistance in your college life. A good grade is all you need to boost up your academic excellence and we are all about it.
We create perfect papers according to the guidelines.
We seamlessly edit out errors from your papers.
We thoroughly read your final draft to identify errors.
Work with ultimate peace of mind because we ensure that your academic work is our responsibility and your grades are a top concern for us!
Dedication. Quality. Commitment. Punctuality
Here is what we have achieved so far. These numbers are evidence that we go the extra mile to make your college journey successful.
We have the most intuitive and minimalistic process so that you can easily place an order. Just follow a few steps to unlock success.
We understand your guidelines first before delivering any writing service. You can discuss your writing needs and we will have them evaluated by our dedicated team.
We write your papers in a standardized way. We complete your work in such a way that it turns out to be a perfect description of your guidelines.
We promise you excellent grades and academic excellence that you always longed for. Our writers stay in touch with you via email.