Friday, April 03, 2009

Across the state line

People travel across the state line into Idaho to buy cigarettes. From what I understand they are $20 less a carton in Idaho than they are in Washington. They put up an illuminated sign to advertise the products and their costs. Sometimes the authorities will set up a sting to catch people from Washington who buy cigarettes and bring them back into the state.

I don't smoke, but when I go in the stop and go, I'm amazed at the variety and selection of cigarettes. If I took up smoking I wouldn't know where to start. I guess I'd start with Pall Mall.

This sign really stands out in the weather. They've cracked down on signs on the Washington side too.


Jules said...

How could anybody sell cigs in Washington if they're so much cheaper just that short distance away?

Personally, if all cigarettes were abolished, I'd be ever so happy!

don said...

It isn't legal for people to go into Idaho and bring cigarettes back into Washington. So people take a chance when they do it. It is controled by the ATF. Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. There are legal issues about transporting these thigns across state lines.

I guess they only crack down on you if you buy a "carton" a box containing 20 packs I think. But if you only buy one pack it isn't a big deal or something.

They passed a law here in WA that people can't smoke in bars, restaurants or any public building like an office. I favor those laws especially when it comes to office and restaurant, anywhere a family with kids would go or you'd have to work. I hardly ever go to a bar but I like that too as I can't be in a place where there is a lot of smoke for very long. It's not that I just don't like it either, I can't take it due to alergies.

Washinton is a "liberal" state and Idaho is a republican state so there are cultural differences and better safety regulations in WA. If you go south in Idaho it's still republican but it runs into Mormon country and that has a whole other set of values.

Diane said...

I don't care for cigarette smoke either!

I'm surprised that they make such a big deal out of it though. It's only a dollar a pack extra. Jeez.

And there are so many places in a car where you could hide a carton.

I can understand regulations regarding public places, but I think if someone wants to buy a carton of cigarettes and smoke them all in their own home that should be OK. :)

Southern Idaho is really weird. So is Utah. :)

That sign looks photoshopped in!

don said...

It does look photoshoped but I didn't. It's just really bright and really stood out in the morning fog. That was what attracted me to take some pictures of it.

You can't hide the cigarettes in your car because they have a guy at the store that sees you buy them he radios to squad cars which pull people over when they cross into Washington. I've seen how they do it. They even announce they are going to run a sting on TV and people still get caught right and left. Who knows what they do to them? It might even be a federal offense.

I heard recently that Utah is doing away with the "club" membership thing to get into bars. It must have been compromising tourism at the ski resorts too much. When I went to Park City I wanted to go out but it was a hassle getting sponsored to get into a bar. It seemed ridiculous. I don't remember seeing anyone smoking cigarettes anywhere the whole time I was in Utah. I'm sure they frown on that. The place I stayed one year gave you a $100 charge if they found that you smoked in the room.

When I went there they gave me this information about bars. You could only have one drink per person at a table and you couldn't stand and drink if I remember (?) I never went to a bar so I don't know if it was true.

I have to admit that I find the culture in Utah interesting and I really like going there.

Diane said...

Utah does really frown on cigarettes. I'm not surprised you didn't see anyone smoke.

I've never really figured out their liquor laws when I was there, and I'm sure if I was to try and go out there I would get really confused.

If the police have someone watching the store I would think that if people really wanted their cigarettes they could come up with some interesting bait-and-switch schemes or something to get around that. I don't know. I guess I don't see it as such a big deal. It's just tobacco. I don't smoke or chew and I don't like being around it though.

It's like if they passed a law that said that you couldn't transport coffee beans across state lines and if you were carrying more than a half pound of coffee you'd get fined.

don said...

They only do the sting now and then. The state wants to control tobacco so they can get taxes out of it. Same with Alcohol.

I guess you might think about it like coffee. Or even tea as in the Boston tea party.