Homegrown Tobacco In Brooklyn
As taxes increase and more anti-smoking laws are created, one smoker in Brooklyn has decided to make her own cigarettes.
The New York Times has recently reported that some Brooklyn residents are now growing their own tobacco, instead of spending money on commercially available cigarettes with high taxes. Whether to save money, develop a personalized flavor, or make a statement against anti-smokers, the movement toward homemade cigarettes raises issues on smoking rights, coercion of behavior, and equality on the smoker’s end.
From the Times article:
For Ms. Silk, 46, a retired police officer and the founder of New York City Clash (Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment), a smokers’ rights group, it is not just about the money. It is about the message. In the state with the highest cigarette taxes in the country, in a city that has become one of the hardest places in America to find a place to smoke, Ms. Silk has gone off the grid, growing, processing and smoking her own tax-free cigarettes from packets of seeds she buys online for about $2. She expects to produce a total of 45 cartons after planting two crops — the first in the summer of 2009, the second last summer — and estimates that she will have saved more than $5,000.