New York City's war on small businesses continues unabated: a Mom & Pop MetroCard operation was cruelly cut down, and two roll-your-own cigarette joints that offer Freedom from excessive, lawful excise taxes are being sued by The Man. Thankfully, these actions haven't deterred Jack Wang from opening his own roll-your-own tobacco shop, City Smokes, in Sheepshead Bay. “I don’t want to fight with the city. I don’t want any trouble,” Wang tells the Daily News. “I need to pay the rent. I have no choice.” You hear that, Mayor? He has no choice but to exploit a perceived loophole in the law and spread Liberty and Tar all over this town.
A spokesman for the city's Law Department refused to comment on Wang's business, but "questioned how he didn't know that the city is going after the roll-your-own shops while preparing to launch his own." Excuuuuussseee him! Not everyone has a subscription to the New Yorker. And City Smokes is doing its part to turn their clients' lungs into a gentler shade of gray. "The flavors we have are not like the regular packs of cigarettes,” and employee says. “It’s healthier.” Hmm, "healthier" also means "less cool," but at $3.25 a pack you can't afford not to smoke them.
In announcing the lawsuits against two other roll-your-own tobacco shops, Mayor Bloomberg said, "Most businesses abide by the law, play by the rules and pay their taxes. We are not going to allow some businesses to skirt the law and we will ensure the playing field is level." So it's okay to "level the playing field" for cigarette slingers but not normal folk paying taxes?