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The growth of street corner cigarette sales known as “loosies” will grow as a result of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to keep cigarettes out of sight.

Consumption of tobacco has been part of mainstream America, transcending generations. Despite the best efforts of government to limit consumption via excessive taxes and smoking restrictions, just like alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, both have been total failures.

Creative entrepreneurs will always provide the citizens’ desire, regardless of government approval. Consumers have voted with their dollars, making tobacco consumption a multibillion dollar enterprise today.

Our tax dollars would be better used if police and judges spend more time prosecuting those who commit real crimes against individuals, rather than going after those who openly display cigarette packages in stores. Law enforcement authorities should be free to pursue those who commit real crimes against citizens and property.

At 18, you are old enough to vote, be a parent, pay taxes, own a car, take out a bank loan, serve in the military and die for your country — but not consume tobacco, which makes no sense.

Larry Penner


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