Tobacco becomes more expensive from 1 September

From today the cigarette costs will rise for the second time this year.

And it is not cheap. Cigarettes will rise 12.5 percent from 71 cents to 80 cents per stick.

The average price of a pack of 25 cigarettes will rise from $ 25- $ 30 to $ 28.25- $ 33.90.

According to analysis, a pack-per-day smoker will now spend nearly $ 922 per month with the tax increase, which is more than $ 100 per month.

Tax will rise from 66 percent of the price of cigarettes to 69 percent.

The government prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine, even though they are 95% less harmful than cigarettes.

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In April, the NSW Parliament passed the law on the Smoke-free Environment Amendment 2018, which prohibits the animals from the same areas where cigarettes are banned. NSW has joined Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT in the introduction of laws prohibiting the use of the controversial product from July this year in areas such as shopping malls, cinemas, libraries, trains, buses, public pools, parks, sports fields and dining areas Outside .

Colin Mendelsohn, the chairman of the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association, says the tobacco tax is rising and penalizes addicted smokers.


Is today's tobacco taxation a real attempt to reduce the number of smokers or a tax incentive from a greedy government to defeat and punish smokers for their addiction?

Most smokers think this is the last.

The cigarette prices have doubled in Australia since 2008 and are now the highest in the world. A 20-pack from Marlboro costs an eye-catching $ 27 in Australia or $ 9,855 a year for a pack-per-day smoker. In Australian dollars, the same package costs just $ 16.67 in the UK, $ 9.51 in the US and $ 1.47 in Vietnam.

Increasing the tobacco tax is a proven strategy to reduce the number of smokers, but seems to have a decreasing effect on these stratospheric levels. There remains a population of addicted smokers who continue to smoke, regardless of the price.

Despite the annual price increases, there was no significant decrease in the rates for smoking in Australia from 2013 to 2016, according to the triennial National Drugs Strategy for Household Surveys. Adult smoking rates in New South Wales rose from 13.5% to 15.1% between 2015 and 2016, and national cigarette consumption rose in 2017 for the first time in a decade according to national accounts.

In the past financial year, excise duties on tobacco yielded a huge $ 12.5 billion in government treasury. However, this load is particularly cruel in a time of zero growth. High prices make use of the most marginalized members of the community, such as low-income groups, indigenous peoples and people with substance use and mental illness.

The most disadvantaged people smoke more than twice as much as the most privileged and have more difficulty stopping. For those who can not stop, high taxes are regressive, punitive and increase financial problems and inequalities in health. A pack-per-day smoker on Newstart spends 68% of their annual income on smoking, leaving little for food, accommodation and other necessities.

The average household in Australia spends more on tobacco than on domestic holidays, motor vehicles, takeaway meals, telecommunications or electricity.

Another undesirable effect of high prices was the exponential growth in the illegal tobacco industry. Illegal tobacco smuggling and illegal tobacco crops make up 15 to 28 percent of the total tobacco market and funds organized crime and terrorism.

The tobacco control policy of Australia is always aimed at stopping smokers from smoking, also known as 'stopping or dying'. approach. However, smoking is a unique addictive habit. Seventy percent of Australian smokers want to quit and most try repeatedly and fail, even with the best treatments. Continuous smokers remain at high risk and up to two of the three will die from a smoking-related disease.

However, there is now a viable alternative: vapen. Nicotine vaporizers (e-cigarettes) provide the nicotine to which smokers are addicted, but without the tar and carbon monoxide that are almost all harmful to health. It is important that they also replicate the smoking ritual and give part of the fun and custom that makes smoking cessures so difficult.

Nothing on this planet is risk-free, but at least 95 percent less harmful, evaporators are much safer than smoking and have helped millions of smokers to stop abroad. Vapen with nicotine is legal in New Zealand, Canada, the UK, the US and the EU. In Australia, nicotine e-liquid is effectively banned, but it can be legally imported or purchased from an Australian compounding pharmacy if the user has a prescription from a doctor.

The price increase of today could be a disguised blessing if it triggers a switch to the fox. Aside from health benefits, vaping devices are much cheaper than tobacco products and will alleviate the financial stress and deprivation caused by the exorbitant tobacco prices for low-income, drug-dependent smokers. One-year supply of arms products costs about $ 1,000 – $ 1,500, a huge saving on the cost of smoking.

The increase in tobacco tax will be followed by a new one in 2019 and 2020. As the financial pressure increases, smokers who can not stop should consider switching to a less harmful alternative. Vapen is 95 percent less harmful than smoking, 85 percent cheaper, less smelly and socially more acceptable. It is really a no-brainer.

– Colin Mendelsohn is the chairman of the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association and associate professor of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales. Follow him on Twitter @ColinMendelsohn

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