10 reasons the tobacco tax hike is awful, awful policy

10 reasons the tobacco tax hike is awful, awful policy
  1. It really has nothing to do with your health
    In the words of the new PM, “It would only be raising $5 billion dollars or so if people are to continue to smoke, so let’s not listen to this palaver about health. This is all about revenue, it’s all about tax, it’s all about a government that can’t control it’s spending – that’s why it hits you in the hip pocket.”
  2. Smoking-related illness already benefits the budget – there ARE no losses to cover.
    Tobacco excise is already so high that it covers the cost of tobacco-related illness to all federal and state budgets ($300 to $350 million, with an m) more than twelve times over. Effectively it’s a forced contribution of $1,771 per smoker on top of any and all costs. Thanks, smokers!
  3. Tobacco taxes hit the poorest the hardest.
    That’s just how the most regressive tax in Australia rolls. If you spend $5,000 a year on tobacco, it’s a bigger proportion of your income if you earn $30,000 per annum rather than $300,000 p/a – and a $1,000 tax hike is going to hit harder, too.
  4. Smokers are disproportionately the poorer and more vulnerable people in our society.
  5. So basically, this is PC class warfare.
    Welcome to the new paradigm!
  6. Quitting is really, really hard.
    Taking money away from people doesn’t actually change that.
  7. Nicotine isn’t even that addictive.
    Since the 2000s, studies have emerged showing that “[t]he psychological element of smoking is the key factor deciding the intensity of craving for cigarettes in a smoker compared to the physiological effects of nicotine as an addictive chemical,“, which is good news for smokers looking to quit (and terrible news for the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing nicotine patches, gum, tablets, and repurposing antidepressants and selling them as quit-smoking aids on the PBS).
  8. Prohibition breeds black markets.
    The tobacco black market  in Australia – where a pack of tailor cigarettes cost less than $10, which is at least $5 cheaper than most legally-purchased tobacco – is already growing and thriving. Wanna bet this is a great handout to the guys on top of tobacco smuggling rings?
  9. The guys on top of illegal tobacco smuggling rings are funding terrorism.
  10. This criminal government.
    Was there a conference, an official meeting, SOMETHING where it was decided that nudge policies were not only acceptable but desirable? When did people in this country stop sorting their own problems out, and start sticking their noses into other people’s business?

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4 thoughts on “10 reasons the tobacco tax hike is awful, awful policy

  1. Damian Bonato

    I work in aged care and I tell you there is no way Iam ending up there. Laying there crying and shitting yourself in the dark, dying a slow death alone all because you lived a healthy life, or enjoy life doing what you want and if you kick the bucket early, who cares it’s no one elses business. God knows I have paid for my own hospital wing in tobacco taxes and the non-smoking prick next door gets to use it for free, a bloke who deliberately goes out and hurts himself playing football and we call him a hero…

  2. There are two more reasons I can add:

    The first is that it hurts our Tourism. When you realise that our close neighbors in many Asian countries such as Hong Kong and other visitors – e.g. South Africans have an exchange rate of 7:1AUD they are paying as much as $140.00 when converted to their currency. And for China at 5.5:1 and Indonesia at 10,800.00:1AUD it is even worse! We are looking to increase our tourism from China, a country with many smokers and cheap cigarettes, so when the decision is should we buy this souvenir or go on this Tourist attraction, or buy a packet of cigarettes, I know which one will win.

    The second is I believe it is pure discrimination and as non-discrimination of minority groups is enshrined in our law, surely it is also unconstitutional?

    1. Damian

      Spot on Diane, the big “Discrimination” word. How come every other minority group in the country, no matter what they are or do, are protected by law. This is harrassment on a grand scale…..we are treated as outcasts and taxed like leppers…lets not forget that most “healthy” non-smokers use hospital beds/wards that our smoke tax probably paid for. I reckon we should start discriminating against non-smokers, have our own bars, restaraunts, hospitals etc; but we can’t do that, they are protected by law. I fought for my country in the first gulf war and most of my mates smoked (still do) then come home to bloody do-gooders like Nicola Roxon, who should keep their hands out of battlers pockets. Their aren’t many little pleasures left in life that are cheap.
      Stay angry…the squeaky wheel gets the oil

  3. “It really has nothing to do with your health”

    Tobacco tax is a health hazard. Highly-paid ‘experts’ wonder why poor people are so unhealthy. It is because we have to change to somehow afford that hideous tax on our fixed incomes.

    It usually begins with a celebratory packet of Marlboro Red (gunmetal grey) on pension day, then as many packets of Bond St Blue (gunmetal grey) as I can safely budget for, then maybe a pouch (but that does my lungs in now I’m not running marathons anymore). I have a couple of 2l icecream containers under the kitchen sink to delve through for whatever unburnt tobacco with a pair of scissors, usually for the five days before the next pension payment. This is important because it enables me to avoid the shame of prowling around the apartments, gardens, out on the street at the bus stops (excellent place to find discard butts – even if it’s raining you can pop the soggy tobacco leftovers in the oven for 20 minutes to dry it all out). You can imagine how embarrassing that is.

    When I was living in a civilised country for the past 3 years and a bit, A Marlboro softpack was around $3 a packet. No problems. I was using a ventolin a week or so for asthma. The past nine months back in Australia, I am averaging a ventolin every 28 hours, and that in itself adds another $5 per day, not to mention the frightening nights. This is because my sensitive lungs need to stay on the brand that they have been used to since 1985.


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