Where there’s smoke, there’s ire.

06/05/2016 § 2 Comments

Tuesday night was Budget night. It was about money. Some of that money is the amount of money smokers will have to pay ($40 a pack, folks). But smokers need not get upset. All that tax is a tidy little nest egg to pay for their eventual medical expenses. Call it emphysemasuperannuation.

Critics have labelled it another tax on the poor. It saddens me to think people choose to deprive their children of food and other necessities because they need their smokes. Sometimes, with limited cash, they have to choose between their kids and their addiction. And sometimes the kids come second.

Young miserable woman feeling secluded

So I think it’s time all smokers (not just the poor ones) gave up.

Easily said. But although it’s not easily done, it can be done. And maybe this hefty hike can be the final motivator.

I say ‘final’ because smokers are being pushed toward giving up all the time. No smoking in restaurants, then pubs, then covered areas, then some outdoor spaces. There’s fewer and fewer places to enjoy a slow, relaxing puff. You duck outside your own home for the sake of family members and the neighbour complains. Pardon the pun but it’s a drag.

And what is the motivator for youngsters to take up smoking? We can’t blame advertising anymore. Is it still cool? When I was at school, people would fit in one of four categories.

  1.  the hard working study types
  2. the sporty ones
  3. the artists and musicians
  4. the cool kids

Groups 3 and 4 were fairly well represented with smokers. But things are different now. Any one person can easily identify with all four groups. And you can be cool without smoking. So why?

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I was talking with Zac last Saturday. He asked about this blog and why I haven’t written anything for over two years(!). I really have no excuse. So here’s a pic I took of him.

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§ 2 Responses to Where there’s smoke, there’s ire.

  • Julie says:

    Stats clearly show that after any large increase in the price of smokes, there is a decrease in the number of smokers. However, the link between smokers and low socioeconomic group is very well established so the increased tax IS a tax on the poor.
    If we are serious about improving the health of our society and decreasing the ever spiralling cost for health care, we have to put a tax on sugar. All sugar. It should be very expensive to buy soft drink biscuits and cake but really cheap to buy fruit and veg. That is not currently the case.

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