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Cigarette prices have doubled in Australia since 2008 and are now the highest in the world. A 20-pack of Marlboro costs an eye-watering $27 in Australia or $9,855 per year for a pack-a-day smoker. In Australian dollars, the same pack costs only $16.67 in the UK, $9.51 in the US and $1.47 in Vietnam.
Increasing tobacco taxes is a proven strategy for reducing smoking rates but appears to be having a diminishing effect at these stratospheric levels. There remains a population of addicted smokers who will continue to smoke no matter what the price.
Despite annual price increases, there was no significant fall in Australian smoking rates from 2013 to 2016, according to the 3-yearly National Drug Strategy Household Surveys. Adult smoking rates increased in New South Wales 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 the National Accounts.
Tobacco excise delivered a massive $12.5 billion to government coffers in the last financial year. However, this tax is particularly cruel at a time of zero wage growth. High prices exploit the most marginalised members of the community, such as low income groups, Indigenous people and people with substance use and mental illness.
Tobacco tax rise exploits and punishes addicted smokers
However, there is now a viable alternative: vaping. Nicotine vaporisers (e-cigarettes) provide the nicotine that smokers are addicted to but without the tar and carbon monoxide that cause almost all the harm to health. Importantly they also replicate the smoking ritual and provide some of the pleasure and habit that makes quitting so difficult.
Nothing on this planet is risk free but at a minimum of 95 per cent less harmful, vaporisers are far safer than smoking and have helped millions of smokers quit overseas. Vaping with nicotine is legal in New Zealand, Canada, the UK, 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 medical practitioner.
why doesn't the governments outlaw just the additives?
I used to see Australia as a freedom packed place, where a man could make whatever life he wanted. Sure looks like I was wrong on that.
originally posted by: Hefficide
It's not at all difficult to see that there's something going on here and that it's likely more based in an agenda than upon the actual metrics.
originally posted by: chrismarco
a reply to: ChaoticOrder
I'm all for making them illegal...nanny state or not..they cause cancer and that's that..lead paint is no longer produced because of it's negative health issues...and yet not everybody became sick from lead paint...but we agreee as a society that there is no benefit from it's use and the same could be said for cigarettes...or if someone really cares make the cigarettes free of chemicals...why doesn't the governments outlaw just the additives?
It's also worth noting that the vape industry, last I checked and by memory, was something like a 4 billion dollar a year industry where the cigarette industry is something like 100 billion a year.
but we agreee as a society that there is no benefit from it's use and the same could be said for cigarettes.
originally posted by: gallop
a reply to: ChaoticOrder
To ban all e-liquids in the US because some idiots are selling dodgy juice, is akin to knowing about people who put powders in their rollies, have a bad time, go to hospital and then calling for all cigarettes to be banned.
originally posted by: Blue Shift
Knowing a little bit about the macho attitudes in Australia, do you think vaping might be seen as "less manly" than puffing away on an old-fashioned cigarette? That sort of tough guy attitude can really undercut a lot of efforts to improve safety. For a long time in the U.S., guys working in coal mines used to not use their protective masks because it was seen as less than manly. I wonder.