Your Tax Dollars at Work

Thanks to government intervention, it will soon be next to impossible to buy shisha (ma'assel) online. States such as New York and California that have imposed ridiculously high taxes on tobacco products as part of their rigid anti-smoking laws have complained that online cigarette sales are depriving them of a much needed source of tax revenue. Uncle Sam took notice of those complaints and agreed that consumers who purchase tobacco products online are in violation of tax law and must be stopped. Mastercard has jumped on the bandwagon and has alerted all of its merchants that they will no longer accept credit card payments for online tobacco purchases. At least three of our wholesale accounts have, without realizing it, run afoul of the law with the result being that their bank and merchant accounts have been frozen. None of these companies sell cigarettes online and since the primary target of the grumbling, whining, and complaining has been about online cigarette sales, one would think that a hookah merchant would be safe. Unfortunately, shisha (ma'assel) is guilty by association. How this will all play out in the end is anyone's guess. As it is currently, however, those hookah merchants who continue to offer shisha for sale on their websites will sooner or later find themselves up in smoke.

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