Smuggler or Trader? Both meet the needs of different markets, driven by supply and demand. Even an enterprising smuggler sometimes meets the needs of "legitimate" markets. Trade and commerce are the life blood of any culture/society/civilization. Political factions & rules change with the seasons, so what is encouraged today may be banned tomorrow! The smuggler is not bound by the structure and limitations of fashion, but merely takes a pragmatic viewpoint to meeting needs wherever they arise, if the profit is sufficient to offset his risks. The smuggler has no interest in taking sides in political battles, but may fight to the death to preserve his/her own independence and profits. In many cases, the smuggler also provides a valuable service to institutions, daring to transport materials too sensitive or hazardous for the Houses to attempt without repercussions. Smugglers also benefit humanity by the great lengths of exploration they are willing to undertake to provide new and valuable resources to more sedentary citizens.
Only over-zealous law enforcement and piracy present a real threat to the social order in Sirius and elsewhere, as police and pirates sometimes indiscriminately destroy smugglers' ships containing hazardous cargos. Next time the phage breaks out on your planet, you can thank one of these factions. But the next time you break out your inhaler, and chase it with a swig of rum, give thanks for the intrepid smugglers who make it possible to break the monotony of yuor factory jobs!