- 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.”
- 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!
- 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.
- Smokers are disproportionately the poorer and more vulnerable people in our society.
- So basically, this is PC class warfare.
Welcome to the new paradigm!
- Quitting is really, really hard.
Taking money away from people doesn’t actually change that.
- 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).
- 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?
- The guys on top of illegal tobacco smuggling rings are funding terrorism.
- 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?