Here is a very real example of how the SCHIP cigar tax has actually affected people. Because of the drastically increased prices due to the new tax, a Florida-based cigar factory, Hav-A-Tampa, was forced to close its doors in April 2009, leaving 500 workers jobless. I would not post about this for the sheer news of a closed plant or jobs destruction - we all know very well that this kind of thing is happening daily, in the United States and all around the world.
What I would like to tell you about is how the employees reacted - more precisely, one of them, Ron Russell. Instead of immediately looking for another job, he started a simple community website, Hav-A-Tampa Job Portal, where he listed profiles of his fellow ex-collegues who wanted to participate. Russell says he has already found 30 jobs. I am sure his initiative will pay off and Hav-A-Tampa employees will integrate businesses that will appreciate their skills.