Gee, do ya think?
The cigarette tax increase that takes effect today most likely will cause an influx of cheap bootleg cigarettes from Kentucky to flow into Indiana, experts predict.
Smaller, independent retailers are more likely to buy cigarettes in Kentucky and bring them back to sell to Hoosiers, Maj. Robin Poindexter of the State Excise Police said.
The tax on cigarettes rises to 99.5 cents from 55.5 cents per pack. The money will primarily fund health care for the working poor and childhood immunizations.
I was glad to learn that excise police "are not concerned with individuals who go across the border to buy a few cartons of cheap cigarettes." You could get a carton in each of your boots, which is where people out West used to high their thin flasks of whiskey, which is where the term "bootleg" comes from. Some say the whiskey was illicit and on the way to the Indians, but two at a time does not seem like an efficient way to build up a big client base. If you see a few dozen people all hiking back from the Kentucky border together, be suspicious. I suppose we'll see a "moonshine" tobacco equivalent, with people growing tobacco in the back 40 and selling homemade cigarettes. It should be just as lucrative as marijuana, with no greater penalties for getting caught.