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Cigar lover speaks out against proposed 95% tax: 'Government won't be happy unless we're all smoking weed'

Cigar aficionado Joe Gelormino spoke out against proposed legislation that would raise the cigar tax rate in New York from 75% to 95% on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight.'

A proposed bill in the New York State Legislature has cigar lovers huffing and puffing. 

Assembly Bill A10016, introduced in April 2022, seeks to raise the tax on cigars from 75%, currently the highest in the nation, to an all-time high of 95%. 

Critics like Joe Gelormino expressed outrage over the proposal and questioned why legislators were targeting cigars instead of weed, which currently has a 13% tax rate. 

"It seems like the government will not be happy unless they have us all eating kale, drinking carrot juice and smoking weed," Gelormino said Monday on "Tucker Carlson Tonight." 

"They're not happy with a nice, good cigar. I mean, to tax something at 95% is absurd. They want to tax it into extinction," he added. 


The defense attorney and cigar aficionado told host Tucker Carlson the people who will get hurt from the tax the most are mom-and-pop cigar shop owners.

"That's who gets hurt here. Not the rich people. Because you know where they're buying their cigars? On the illegal market," Gelormino explained. "The Cubans on the illegal market. They get the full boxes, and they're not taxed. But the average Joe that wants to enjoy a nice cigar on his porch at night with a nice glass of red wine or a nice martini, he is the one that's getting hurt."

Carlson said he couldn't understand the justification for the tax, stating there is no public health crisis posed by cigar smoking. "What's going on here?" he asked. 

"I don't know. I can't explain it. All I can explain to you is that everything we seem to enjoy, whether it's a glass of red wine, a drink, or a nice cigar, they're going to tax," Gelormino responded. 

"You know what's coming next, Tucker? I brought a prop. You know what's coming next? Because the elites at Davos have already warned us for this. Red meat, our big fat steaks. That's what they're going to be taxing next. That's what they're going to be taxing next. Red meat, It's coming, Tucker, because we enjoy that," he said. 

AB A10016 is currently in limbo in the state legislature. 

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