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Japan hikes taxes on cigarettes by 40% to curb smoking

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Still cheap! A packet of Marlboro 20 in Australia $14.40 (About 1200 yen) - but rice is about 150 yen kg. In Japan rice is expensive and cigarettes are cheap, other (developed) countries tobacco is expensive and rice is cheap. Choose the more sensible option.

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Still way too cheap!!

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Where I'm coming from a pack of Marlboro is at the same price as in Japan now. A kg of rice however is about 115 yen.

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Increase more.

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yup still too cheap. Was hoping it would cost 1000 at LEAST. price in holland is 5 euro? strange thought it was already 8 euros at least.

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This is not to curb smoking, its to increase tax revenue. Tobacco is still promoted as a cool consumer good. There is never mention in the media of the fact that its a legalized drug. Tobacco is still cheap in Japan.

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Excellent!

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Tobacco consumption is also expected to decline as a result of consumers becoming increasingly concerned about the effects of smoking on their health.

Now everybody and his brother who goes abroad will be carrying back the limits of duty-free smokes. There may be a loophole here too, if they don't raise the duty on cigarettes carried in duty-free.

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I have to laugh at all these people buying up cartons of smokes - making a "cancer stash", just waiting for them to consume lots of tar that will stick in their lungs and eventually kill them and harm those around them.

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I think it's kinda funny that some smokers went out and stocked up on cartons of cigarettes. I imagine most dedicated smokers are just saying 'Shoganai' while they puff away...

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Maintain quality? Quality of what?

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Glad they've increased the tax - hopefully they'll put it into healthcare and education.

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Glad they've increased the tax - hopefully they'll put it into healthcare and education.

It goes into infrustructure like railroads. Which is why this is simply an exercise in getting tax revenue not a health campaign like the propoganda suggests.

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Yeah, raising the price doesn't really impact smoking. Though it makes sense that it might limit the amount that younger smokers use.

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Too cheap still, but agree that younger potential smokers will think twice.

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Please increase it more

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"... raising industry fears of further declining sales at a time when consumers are becoming more health conscious."

BS! JT itself decided to raise the price of 'popular' brands by 30 yen more than was being demanded by government, so this is just plain silly.

Big Tobacco (JT) is actually playing it rather smart here -- at least for a nation where smoking laws are WELL behind the times. By raising it higher than was necessarily and proclaiming it to be for 'health purposes' they made themselves look like the good guy while they consider to sell something extremely bad for you and reap massive products. This in turn allows them to lessen any criticism that Japan is not raising the taxes like the rest of the civilized world -- to 1000 yen or so a pack. It makes JT look GENEROUS. Finally, the third thing it accomplishes to an extent is that, as well as the 30 yen they added themselves, by suddenly saying 'they are worried about a drop in sales' (and having a major stake in Japan's GDP), they make it unlikely the tax will be raised again any time soon.

I hope the government comes to its senses over the next decade and makes it AT LEAST 1000 yen a pack (by then it will probably be outlawed in some countries), but we'll see. Health always takes a back seat to profit, so if the increase in taxes is less than what would have been made overall had they not put the prices up, we'll never see an increase again (unless it's to eliminate a 'stigma' that Japan faces in the eyes of the world, of course).

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This is an idiotic scheme. For everybody that quits smoking because of this tax, they'll be two people who spend twice as much (or however extra it will cost) to buy what they don't need. This money will necessarily come from other areas, thereby hurting the overall economy a little bit.

Once again a government thinks of an idiotic scheme to raise taxes, tries to market it as a "we're doing it for the people" kind of thing, but in the long run it will only further inflate the government and hurt the economy.

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But the shop owner Kudo said he worried about a downturn in sales in the coming months, as many of his old customers said they planned to quit after the increases.

Not to worry, Kudo-san, they plan to quit but won't; they're addicted.

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One of my English students was a CANCER RESEARCHER for JT, Japan Tabaco, and well I asked how much he smoked, NEVER!! Was his answer, Never?? Why I asked, and he said I have to research on the effects of tabaco on the human body, and it it SO SCARY!!! That was enough for me to NEVER SMOKE! So 40% is ok, but lets raise it another 40% real soon! I hate smelly cigarette smoke from all of these selfish PIGS!

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the tobacco companies say that they imposed bigger price increases in order to offset an expected drop in sales and maintain quality.

i.e. the quality of their own lives. Less income would be a drop, right?

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one small step in the right direction.

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A 28-year-old company employee said she bought 5 cartons Thursday, although she had also considered quitting smoking.

‘‘It’s hard to decide (to quit),’’ she said as she smoked in a designated smoking zone near JR Shimbashi Station in Tokyo.

Yes I can see how hard it is to decide: quit and you: •save money •cleaner teeth •fresher breath •odor-free clothes •better health

Don't quit and you spend more and die earlier....oh yes...so hard to decide....

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People here are freaking out and stocking up like crazy and the hike is only 100 yen. No big whoop. NYC did a 100% hike if I remember correctly.

I read an interesting myth about smoking. Smokers always say they need to smoke to reduce stress when the "stress" is actually withdrawal symptoms from not getting their nic fix.

Stop smoking and the withdrawal symptoms will eventually go away. Handle your stress like everyone else - make/keep friends, be honest, exercise, eat right, etc.

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I think a lot of people worry about the weight gain after quitting as well. Especially women.

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BS!

Smith, what's wrong with you lately (sorry for asking you a question, you don't need to answer)? You're really kicking up a fuss recently. Take a chill pill, dude!

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Takehiro Miyazaki, 34, ...had no choice but to accept the price hikes, regarding them similarly to train fare increases.

Yeah, because we all know that riding the train causes cancer and puts a massive strain on the health budget of the entire country! LOL. Such is the resignation of an addict.

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so hard to decide....

It's called addiction, and it's stronger than logic. Still, more yen is a small step towards making a big decision to quit.

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Hiking taxes by 40%. Its a gimmick. Just like the gimmick of golf range owned/operated by a smoking family. Recently they put up a sign, "No smoking inside the waiting room". But in the outdoors range, they allow smoking galore. I told the guy at the register today, it should be opposite. When people want to take a break from the athletic activity, they can go inside and smoke, but when they are on the range, there should be no smoking allowed. He looked at me and blushed, out of anger of being criticized (as they often are) or embarrassed, I couldn't tell.

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I once taught a Japanese guy that made drugs to keep you alive when you had lung cancer. He said his drugs had horrendous side effects...but you stayed a live a couple more months!!

About time they raised the prices.

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Still cheap... Cigarettes should be alot more expensive for more tax income.

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How many people here are ex-smokers?

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Anyone who smokes is an absolute moron.

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Some people have their reasons for smoking, but that shouldn't ever impose on the rights of non-smokers for "clean" air (I say "clean" because it's still full of other pollutants, but at least this is a start).

I'm really glad that they raised the tax, but they haven't raised it enough!

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Finally, taxing something that adds to 1.) national health issues and 2.) pollutes our environment.

Hey, smokers, choke on that! :-P

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HA HA HA!!! While it's true that some smokers will quit after cigarretes are more expensive, the consumption of them will only drop a bit. So it is a sur way to ensure more income from the taxes of these products. In my country, they did the same thing, the hike was between 40% and 50% of the original price, and did you know what happened? nothing, people continued to smoke, one of the brand tested new flavours during that period and people still was hooked up. I'm a smoker, and yes, an addict to nicotine, I don't ever plan to quit, you can think of me what you like, But I will never impose my smoking on you, If you don't like smoking and you are my guest at my house I will not smoke in front of you, I don't try to convince you to smoke, nor I expect to you to try to convince me to quit. If the government want to protect the well being of citizens, they can apply measures such as: Not machine vendors, where a child can buy cigarretes, don't allow stores to sell cigarretes to minors, forbid to smoke in public spaces (convention centers, malls, restaurants, public bathrooms, etc), make raids to people to quit for one day, etc... But of course, these measures mean less profits to tobacco companies and also less income from these taxes....

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Smokers are morons!

They spend hard earned money to ruin their health!

Not only that, the second hand smoke also ruin others health too!

I once advised my client to sue her smoker cum colleagues and tobacco company for causing her to suffer lung cancer.

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Japan hikes taxes on cigarettes by 40% to curb smoking

And Japan Tobacco Inc owns by government promoting smoking by giving gifts (A nice bag and really high quality 3 lighters. I also got it) with 3 packs of cartons. It is just a big lie that they want to curb smoking. It is just a excuse to increase price and these morons just want money. They will see the sales reduction soon and unexpected reduction in total profit. Then after that I am sure they will not talk about increasing price again for some years from now.

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Please add another 40%, I'm tired of breathing a cloud of smoke from smokers.

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People will soon switch to smoking weed and hash to avoid paying the taxes.

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The 758, I'm an ex-smoker and it was an increase in cigarette prices that caused me to quit. When I returned to the U.S. in 2008 and found out the prices of cigarettes in the U.S., I quit cold turkey.

Tobacco-free since Nov 24, 2008.

Taka

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"hikes taxes by 40% to curb smoking" What a flat out lie, they want to raise revenue not cut smoking rates. By the way Phillip Morris did a study (which they were very embarassed by when it went public) in England to argue that smokers cost national insurance and pension schemes less because they die sooner. You know what, that's exactly what they found. Take that for what its worth and how you feel about big tobacco but please quit using the insurance costs against smokers because it is not a valid argument.

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Yeah, raising the price doesn't really impact smoking.

It did me. I went and got me some Chantix.... I always said if it went over 350, that would be it. 120 jump certainly did it.

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Sweet. Lovin' it. HA HA! Yeah! Whoa! YES! First you needed your ID card to buy, then Kanagawa starts along the road to the light and now this: All is well (except the smokers; SUCKERS!) Good move all round.

Peace, lights, out. (Get it?)

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"to curb smoking" my ass. The gov'ment just wants mo cash.

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As far as smoking goes, nicotine is an addiction and not easy to get over. A few people might be motivated to stop smoking but I think the majority are just going to suck it up and keep puffing away at some (maybe reduced) rate. Anybody have any data on the price of the number of smokers as a % of population versus price?

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roomtemperature: "Smith, what's wrong with you lately (sorry for asking you a question, you don't need to answer)? You're really kicking up a fuss recently. Take a chill pill, dude!"

I offer you a challenge: say something about the thread! and even if your usual inability to do so comes into play, can you at least provide a reason as to why you think I am wrong in thinking the price of cigarettes here is to low? My guess is, there will be no more comments from you on this thread.

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I think that the hike may cause a few people to quit, but not many.

However, hopefully the real difference will be people not starting to smoke in the first place, due to the higher prices. I'm still not sure the prices are prohibitively high though.

That said, I don't see how this price hike can do any harm, even if all it does is get the govt more money.

I'm disgusted though that tobacco companies have been able to add as much as 70yen extra per pack, and will be able to blame it on the government's price hike.

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Smith, my "what's wrong with you" was not about the fact that you think that prices for tobacco should be much higher. I agree with you on that for 100%. Smoking is unhealthy and should be discouraged which can't be accomplished by a 40% tax hike because Japanese men don't have a backbone so they can never stop smoking. Even if the price goes up.

Back on topic now. I was talking about the backbone of Japanese men. Once I was in a restaurant in Tokyo. The guy at the table next to mine was smoking. I mean SMOKING!!! He lit up one after another cigarette, blowing his smoke over my table and over my food. Of course I said something about it, without any effect. When he left he apologized to me and said "I'm sorry, you were right. I just can't control myself". A 40% tax hike will prevent jellyfish like this from smoking? Never!!

My guess is, there will be no more comments from you on this thread.

My guess is, you guessed wrong AGAIN.

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I'm a hardcore non smoker and hate the smell of it but I disagree with the excuse being used. It is just a revenue maker for the govt. Just like the sin tax in the states.

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At least I can still enjoy a gentlemen's smoke in the cigar bars. I'm rather proud of myself actually, I've managed to get several of my associates here and back home to switch from cigarettes to cigars, much more fulfilling than those ratty little things. Even with the tobacco price hikes the cost of cigars don't fluctuate all that much because most of the price associated with them is labor anyway, a couple of the cigar companies’ haven’t changed their prices at all, they just pay their employees less. Sorry people in the Dominican Republic, but don't worry, I'll support your livelihood.

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Smoking nazis out in full force, I see. I don't understand why somebody who hates cigarette smoke that much would patronize businesses that permit cigarettes. Just leave and take your money elsewhere, I say. No need to be verbally obnoxious.

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