The only reason this is a problem is because smokers are a minority.
Starting today, state Department of Revenue agents will begin stopping Tennessee motorists spotted buying large quantities of cigarettes in border states, then charging them with a crime and, in some cases, seizing their cars.The government is mad because they feel like these folks buying cigarettes out of state are effectively performing tax evasion. The smokers don't want to pay an arm and a leg in taxes. And the non-smokers in the state couldn't care less.
...State Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr says his department is simply doing its job, enforcing a valid state law while protecting Tennessee retailers who properly pay state taxes.
There's a few things at work. One, nobody (or not enough people to matter) complains about cigarette taxes because they're the current scapegoat for nearly all social evils in our society (alongside Big Oil). So smokers get the shaft for a lot of government spending hikes. Two, the government is the biggest thief in the world and has fooled its citizens into thinking that they "owe" things to it.
Government is by its very nature a massive parasite. It creates nothing and only exists as a necessary evil. It leeches off of its citizens solely to prevent them from killing each other or being killed by citizens of other countries. In the relationship of remora and shark, government is the remora. Unfortunately, Americans are beginning to think of themselves as the members of the Echeneididae family -- we hitch along Big Fed's back and eat the leavings Uncle Sugar tosses us.
Smokers in Tennessee are feeling it now, questioning the right of the tick to hold the reins of the dog. My concern is that no one will listen or realize that it can happen (and is currently happening) to any and all of us.