[Chicago Slices raw: Indiana Cigarette Stand]

Cigarette Stand in Hammond, IN: Interviews about the Illinois cigarette tax issue and the effects felt at the Illinois-Indiana state border.

00:00Copy video clip URL B-roll, videographer walks towards a Nuco Discount cigarette and soda pop store.

00:18Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Videographer heads up to the sales window and asks for Mrs. Reva Victor, the owner of Nuco Discount.

00:59Copy video clip URL Interview in the back storeroom with Victor. The interviewer talks a little about Chicago Slices. Lots of video drop outs.

01:33Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Victor explains says her shop is on the Illinois-Indiana boarder on the Indiana side. It’s an ideal location because tax on cigarettes is lower in Indiana than it is in Illinois.

02:20Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. She estimates that her shop offers a three or four dollar discount compared to other shops. She notes they sell name brand cigarettes for about four dollars and name brand generic cigarettes for three dollars. Lots of video drop outs.

03:43Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Victor says now she has seven price structures which is about to go down to two structures. The highest price for cartons are going down to around fourteen dollars and the lowest price will go up to eleven dollars.

04:51Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. She notes Indiana has Fair Trade which means the State sends out a list of price changes telling what wholesalers and retailers what to charge. They have this law but no penalty. If a seller doesn’t follow this law they can charge whatever price they want and not get penalized by the State. Victor says she sells more cartons of cigarettes than she does packages.

06:19Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Victor does not know of any limit someone from Illinois coming into Indiana for cigarettes is bound to obey. She can sell as many cartons of cigarettes as anybody wants.

06:52Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. She says Illinois often puts a sign up about bootlegging. Victor understands this has to do with illegal reselling, but, she argues, if a product is bought for one’s own consumption there should not be a legal limit on how much a person can purchase. She estimates that ninety-nine per cent of her customers are from Illinois. Victor shares a list of tax data she’s compiled on Illinois.

08:06Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Victor reads the list of tax information about Illinois. The State of Illinois has a $4.40 tax on cigarettes. Cook County has a $5.40 tax. The City of Chicago has a $7.00 a carton tax. The State of Indiana has a $1.55 tax. The difference between buying a carton of cigarettes in Illinois as compared to buying in Indiana is about $5.00 in taxes.

08:55Copy video clip URL Victor says she’s been in business 18 years. Her husband bought the business years ago and she took it over when he died. She says the store is open 24-hours because ninety-eight per cent of their inventory is taken at night. They inventory every night. Also, having the store open all night helps protect against theft and break-ins.

10:13Copy video clip URL Victor is asked about taxes on liquor sales, but she says she is not expert enough to answer.

10:54Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. She says generic cigarette sales have picked up. The industry is trying to lessen the gap in price between name brand and generic cigarettes. She says the most popular cigarettes she sells are Kool, Marlboro, Winston. She says right now cigarette companies offer crazy coupons worth four-, five-, and six-dollars, and thinks as the sale price goes down the crazy coupons will lower too. She says sales gimmicks like packs with cash redeemers are so popular, customers would walk away if you didn’t offer them. Lots of video drop outs.

14:11Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. She goes through list of companies that had coupons and cash redeemers. She notes that for a while cigarette manufacturers were raising prices four times a year for no apparent good reason. Now they are starting to reduce prices. More and more people aren’t smoking now because of health issues and price. She knows of people who’ve given up smoking for these reasons.

16:12Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Victor comments that none of this has an effect on her sales.  She thinks people should be allowed to smoke in the workplace as opposed to having to run out the door or into the bathroom.

17:11Copy video clip URL Victor takes videographer on a tour of the shop, a huge room stacked with various cigarette packages and cartons. Customers come up to tiny window and from outside make their purchase. Victor says her husband described it as a big vending machine. One customer chats with the videographer and purchases a box of cigarettes.

17:58Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Victor notes that there are about 300 kinds of cigarettes. Marlboro has about 10 or 12 different kinds: lights, 100s, soft pack, hard pack. She says they do sell a lot of light cigarettes these days. When she started smoking years ago there were only 4 kinds to choose from.

21:01Copy video clip URL B-roll of the shop, rows of cigarettes. Victor shows a long list of all the cigarettes she carries.

22:16Copy video clip URL Victor says generic cigarettes come in three to four price ranges. She says tobacco in a generic cigarette is different from that in a name brand. There’s more filler. The process of making a generic cigarette is different. Continued b-roll of the shop’s inventory.

24:56Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. They discuss various consumer fraud practices.

25:41Copy video clip URL B-roll exterior of Nuco Discount, the night window, the signs, ads, posters.

26:56Copy video clip URL Interview with customer Dave who says he comes from Illinois to get his cigarettes in Indiana. He saves two or three dollars a trip. He plans ahead so he doesn’t run out.

27:52Copy video clip URL Interview with a woman who drives from just over the border and saves one-hundred-and-two dollars a year.

28:35Copy video clip URL B-roll of Nuco Discount sign.

28:49Copy video clip URL Interview with a guy who normally buys his cigarettes in Illinois because he lives far away.

29:18Copy video clip URL Interview with a customer who says he comes to Nuco once in a while for cigarettes.

29:48Copy video clip URL Inteview with a man who says he saves about eighty cents a day buying cigarettes in Indiana.

30:18Copy video clip URL B-roll of Nuco Discount.

30:40Copy video clip URL Interview with a guy who lives just over the border. He doesn’t care what brand he gets. He cares about price.

31:25Copy video clip URL Interview with a woman who comes from Riverdale, Illinois. By doing so she saves about seven dollars a carton.

32:07Copy video clip URL Interview with an Indiana local who says he would never buy cigarettes in Illinois. It’s too expensive.

32:50Copy video clip URL B-roll of customers purchasing cigarettes.

33:17Copy video clip URL Interview with a guy who drives in from Illinois and saves about six dollars a carton. He buys whatever is on sale and saves about thirty dollars a week. He says very rarely would he buy cigarettes in Illinois.

34:00Copy video clip URL B-roll of street signs: State Line Road. B-roll of the shop.

35:22Copy video clip URL END

 

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