Save the Smoke Shop 

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Those fat cats on Capitol Hill have done it again. The tax on tobacco is going up again, from 35 percent to 86 percent, and Jeannie’s Smoke Shop may be going under. What a way to treat a neighbor.

I believe Jeannie’s to be the last gentleman’s smoke shop. Their shelves are not cluttered with bongs, bubblers or hookahs, but a fine selection of cigars, pipes, and hard-to-find imports. The personnel at Jeannie’s are knowledgeable, informed and enthusiastic about their products. This shop is a throwback to a simpler time, when a smoker could still enjoy a bit of dignity and satisfaction in their choice, not the degree of shame and ridicule we’re made to feel for it now.

Jeannie’s massive inventory, a major draw for customers, is proving to be their downfall. Some smaller shops look to pay around $25,000 in taxes come July 1, and probably less after a major push to deplete their pre-tax stock. Jeannie’s will have to pay upward of $125,000.

So, let’s help these guys out. Buy your next pack at Jeannie’s. Get dad a cigar for Father’s Day. Stock up on your bulk rolling tobacco, because pretty soon it will only be available in one-ounce pouches. Besides, it’s in your own best interest to stockpile before the tax hike. Let’s give these guys a good send-off to thank them for over 60 years of service.

Owner Gary Klc was quoted in the The Salt Lake Tribune, saying, “When I think of my customers and suppliers, I feel like I’m losing my best friends. It’s like I’m going to a funeral.” This funeral need not take place. Let’s buy every last cigar, pipe, and pack in the place. Without the crippling, one-time payment, Gary and the guys at Jeannie’s will have a chance to keep soldiering on and continue to deliver a fine product to the discriminating Salt Lake City smoker. Let’s stick it to the man; win one for the little guy. Hey gang, let’s save Jeannie’s!

Micah Surprenant
Salt Lake City

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