Cigarettes cost 30 sen more from now. The reason? To discourage smokers from smoking. How many times cigarette taxes have increased for the same reason? Any positive result?
You don't have to be a genius to know that this doesn't work. And why do they still want to increase taxes on cigarettes? Why don't they just impose a hefty increase on duties on luxury cars and other luxury items? Think about it. I highly suspect a hidden agenda. Think about it.
I am a non-smoker. And I do agree that smoking is not beneficial to health, and definitely hurts the pockets; especially for the lower income groups. But let us be fair and have a bit of sympathy to the poor (literally) smokers.
From my years of observation, a very big proportion of the blue collar workers, or more crudely, the labourers, smoke. To many, this is the only "joy" that they know how, apart from laying bricks and tarring the road under the hot sun. Now before their health deteriorates, their pockets are lighter. What about their family welfare? Do you think Ahmad, Ah Chong, and Maniam will reduce smoking, let alone quit??
Hidden agenda!! And as always the helpless and powerless are the easy targets.
(Post script: SMS survey by NTV 7 news @ 8pm
"Will increase in cigarette duty results in smokers smoking less?"
NO : 73%
YES : 27% )