This is a science site and not a political or economics one and therefore we have poor grasp of things we know nothing about, like how missing cigarette tax revenue can possibly be responsible for bloated governments being unable to pay their bills.
But apparently it is and a new method of securing cigarette tax stamps from counterfeiting and falsification could save nations otherwise losing more than $50 billion annually - which, like 'jobs saved' is a number you can believe if you want, because someone said it - that's all according to a group of companies that make holograms designed to ... prevent counterfeit cigarette tax stamps.
That's right, Big Government, it's not whether you can afford to spend money on holograms, since the US deficit alone this year will be larger than the entire economy of India, it's whether you can afford not to.
Anyway, this EDAPS Consortium says specialized holograms will not only add legitimate sin taxes back into government coffers, thus making governments more dependent on people we are supposed to vilify and convince to stop smoking, but it will also cut off funds supporting organized crime and terrorism.
If you don't buy their holograms, the terrorists win.
They cite the the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which claimed 600 billion counterfeited and smuggled cigarettes cross national borders annually - translating to $50 billion in lost revenue affecting nations throughout the world, they say.
"By combining state of the art holograms with our enforcement methodology and Track Trace System, we are enabling government agencies to double their revenues from the sales of excisable products while shutting down illegal uses that often fund transnational criminal activities," said Alexander Vassiliev, Chairman of EDAPS.
But holograms and tracking are not enough - you will need their consulting too. Or do you not mind if pirates take over the world?
Honestly, if cigarette smuggling is the biggest problem your country is facing right now, I want to move there.
EDAPS Consortium link, so they don't think I am picking on them.