Voices
in
Japan

quote of the day

A tax raise of 1 yen per cigarette could generate more than 100 billion yen.

46 Comments

A senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) which is considering boosting the cigarette tax to cover revenues lost to a reduced sales tax rate on daily necessities. (Mainichi Shimbun)

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

46 Comments
Login to comment

Finally someone who is talking sense! Raise the price to Y500 now, and then slowly increase it until it reaches at least Y800. The financial windfall will be amazing, and all the while dissuading people from either starting or continuing this terrible habit. I find it interesting that this politician made the comment anonymously. He fears the backlash from either Japan Tobacco or all of the chain smokers in this country.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

How about raising the price of a pack of smokes to 1000 yen? The smoking population would decline in a heartbeat

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Common sense at last!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It's such a filthy habit. Each packet of twenty should cost at least ¥2000.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

So is two choices people continue smoking the same amount or more for the stress to pay more taxes for a cigarette or people just quit because is too expensive buy cigarettes, so what will be the out come of this propose?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Why keep bashing smokers? How about raising taxes on spirits and meat and refined sugar, all of which are revealed as dangerous to health and largely non-essential?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

A tax raise of 1 yen per cigarette could generate more than 100 billion yen.

Well, raise it, already!

Do as Aly suggests, raise it to 1,000 yen.

Just think what the government could do with all that money!

Special committees, fact finding missions to Las Vegas and Waikiki, an Air-Collective-Self-Defense-Force Number One jet for Mr Abe, a couple more US bases in Okinawa, and lots and lots of extended "business lunches."

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Why keep bashing smokers?

Because your disgusting habit causes cancer in others, not just you. You are a walking public health hazard and you need to be heavily taxed to capture the tremendous harm you wreak on others.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

"common sense at last " Indeed, therefore its unfortunately almost guaranteed not to go ahead or be watered down ( you know to protect the "livelihood "of those 3 or so domestic tobacco farmers or some such reason ). Nothing to do with J-govt. being a majority Japan Tobacco shareholder of course. But seriously, I agree with others hike it up to 1000 yen already. If they hike up the booze substantially as well, there might not even be need for an additional tax hike on any food at all. Now there is an idea to keep the MoF bureaucrats awake at night.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@zurconium. I am not a smoker. So better not to assume, eh?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If they hike up the booze substantially as well, there might not even be need for an additional tax hike on any food at all.

You might get in hot water here. A lot of ex-pats here probably drink booze like fish and prefer their liquor cheap.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I smoke. I don't object to paying more in taxes on cigarettes. I object to the sanctimonious rubbish of "this terrible habit" and "this filthy habit" and so on. so many worse things are done and consumed in the world. Going on about smokers wreaking "tremendous harm" on others is just daft. with any luck these same sanctimonious people will now start picking on folks who eat Big Macs or sausages (take that , Germany!)

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Raising the tax is a good idea. As usual on JT, any cigarette related story brings out the rabid anti smokers. funny how Japan has one of the higher rates of smoking (and drinking) in the world and yet also is near the top in terms of life expectancy............. Bet its mostly expats here who rave against smoking.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Good. So raise it to 1000 yen per pack, for all kinds, and ban smoking completely in public, with a 500,000 yen fine for not complying. Should generate enough, and get a lot of people to quit to boot, saving a lot in health care costs.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Wakarimasen

so many worse things are done and consumed in the world.

I challenge you to name one thing that is eaten or drunk that exposes those around the consumer to harmful effects. Or perhaps you think you can catch second-hand obesity from Big Mac eaters or alcoholism from being near vodka swiggers?

@Kaerimashita

rabid anti smokers I admit I get a little emotional when rabid nicotine suckers mess with the air that I breathe.

That said, I think a tax increase would be a bad idea. For politicians, tobacco money is as addictive as nicotine. They aren't likely to feel any great enthusiasm for effective anti-smoking measures that would choke their cash cow.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Well, Alan, you don't exactly "catch" lung cancer or heart disease from the smokers themselves either, or their addiction, so your arguments concerning Big Macs and vodka are not really relevant. You can be exposed to the harmful effects of second hand smoke but I am pretty sure that alcohol causes more collateral damage than smoking. Think drunk-driving and alcohol-related violence, for example. But your examples of obesity and alcoholism, as well as other personal, social and environmental problems caused by meat and alcohol, definitely show us how these items should be taxed so much more, perhaps along with tobacco too, but, like others, I hate the sanctimonious and illiberal opprobrium spat at smokers when the habits of many - perhaps the very same - people are also anti-social and immoral and might be reduced through tax policy.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

As Moonraker said, drunkenness probably results in more deaths thru drunk driving and violence that the alleged effects of secondhand smoke, especially now that smoking is banned in most enclosed places. agree with Kaeru's observation on longevity in Japan even though smoking rates relatively high. surely that is better empirical evidence that some small sample "lab test". Precisely, it is the vehemence of attacks on smokers that I find unnecessary rather than the fact that if folks want to abstinent or even anti they are more than welcome to be so.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Alan Wear a mask. Why should smokers give up their [perfectly legal) pleasure because you are so hyper sensitive about the air that you breathe? Maybe we should stop car drivers driving (especially VW's??). Or factories polluting?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Tax more, but designate the funds to be used exclusively for weaning people off tobacco.

Smoking is a habit that I hope some day may come to an end. But unlike other things (fatty foods, alcohol consumption) that may harm the body, smoke from cigarettes directly affects other people's health with negative consequences. To quote someone a while back, "No one ever died from a second-hand pat of butter.", and that, is the difference.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Sumo. risk from secondhand smoke out in the open air is negligible. and yes people die from secondhand alcohol.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Reading ur guys`s comments is way more amusing then reading the news XD

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@wakarimasen,

People eating hamburgers in the same vicinity doesn't affect me. People smoking affect everyone in the vicinity (and smoke has a laaaarge vicinity).

I hate having to be a part of your bad habit. You and other smokers are selfish and unsympathetic to the people around you who have to breathe in your hazardous stink.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Despite smoking (not heavily but with a drink or at home) I think Japanese cigarettes could bear another 50 or 100 yen on a pack.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hiking the cigarette tax would reduce its consumption, so I'm skeptical that this could reliably cover revenues lost through exempting certain "daily essentials" (which are now being linked with cancer) from sales tax.

Just have a single consumption tax rate already, and use some of the extra revenues to assist the poor who can't handle the 2% increase. (This is assuming that the public is against slashing public services and other government spending as an alternative, which seems to be the case in this country judging by how the voters act.)

As an aside, smoking is lame, but so long as people don't do it where I am walking and eating I'm OK with it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think its better to lift taxes on public transport by 1 yen, and booze... that would be much better boost to economy since everyone use the trains and most folks drink . just being logical unlike the anti-smoking terrorists here

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Special committees, fact finding missions to Las Vegas and Waikiki, an Air-Collective-Self-Defense-Force Number One jet for Mr Abe, a couple more US bases in Okinawa, and lots and lots of extended "business lunches."

Right bertie. The idea that Abe might just give it back to the people suffering under him is unimaginable.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Kaerimashita

Wear a mask. Why should smokers give up their [perfectly legal) pleasure because you are so hyper sensitive about the air that you breathe?

The hazards of second-hand smoke are well-documented and very real. You don't need to be "hyper-sensitive" to be harmed or killed by someone else's "perfectly legal" and perfectly selfish pleasure. Or perhaps you think that only smoke sucked into an idiot is harmful, and that smoke coming off the other end of the cigarette is magically made safe for everyone around the addict.

The comparison with smokestacks and cars is invalid. Car exhaust gas (even from VWs) is far cleaner than it was a few decades ago. Cigarette smoke is just as dangerous as it was Walter Raleigh started puffing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If you are so worried about your health wear a mask. it is very popular in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Hmmmm.. If you think the comparison invalid then go stand next to an idling car for a bit and see how your poor throat feels. I disagree that secondhand smoke is just as harmful now as in Raleigh;s time (although not sure what the point of the comparison is). Modern cigarettes have much lower tar and nicotine content as they did even 30 years ago..... Still agree that a small tax hike would be good. Cigarettes cost up to 3 times more in UK or Singapore......

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Kaerimashita

risk from secondhand smoke out in the open air is negligible

That all depends on how open the air is and whether there is a breeze. A street corner or doorway in Tokyo hardly qualifies. The fug in those places hangs around a long time and spreads a long way.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So I guess answer is to ban smoking completely. that way no one (especially those on streets or in doorways in Tokyo) will need to suffer. will also solve the debate on raising the tax or not. everyone's a winner!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why keep bashing smokers? How about raising taxes on spirits and meat and refined sugar, all of which are revealed as dangerous to health and largely non-essential? the WHO just reported that smoking causes 1 million premature deaths each year, almost double alcohol 600,000, Obesity, air polution. Smoking is the worst preventable cause of death. Alcohol, meat , sugar can all be eaten in moderation and not be bad for your health. Ever cigarette is bad for you, and effects those around you. Its not smoker bashing its just common sense.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So let's ban smoking.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Wakarimasen

So I guess answer is to ban smoking completely.

I would hate to think that you're stooping to sarcasm so I'll answer your question as if you're serious.

No. The answer is for smokers to grow up and get educated about the harm they're doing to others, especially in their own families, and to reject this stupid habit. Another answer would be for the Japanese government to get right out of the tobacco business and wean the tax man off tobacco money.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you raise taxes too high on cigs, then people will quit, and Abe will want to double the consumption tax to 20% due to the shortfall of tax revenues from quitters. We need to find a happy medium where people do not quit but pay more.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So let's spend lots of money on educating smokers so they give up or educating kids so they don't start. Or educating people that a little bit of secondhand smoke is no more harmful than cars and factories and the haze in Singapore or smog in HK or any number of other pollutants.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

educating people that a little bit of secondhand smoke is no more harmful than cars and factories

Or perhaps we could teach them that the Earth is flat. That makes about as much sense.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Smokers smoking without affecting those around is fine by me - shut in their glass cubicles sucking on their addiction. Altho the 3rd hand smoke is pretty rank at times.

Comparing smoking to other forms of ill-health contributing factors is of no relevance in this discussion. The topic at hand is smoking. Lung cancer in Japan has taken over stomach cancer as the leading cause of cancer related deaths. Smoking related heart disease is on the increase. Those who believe there is some magic DNA bullet in the local population that will prevent a further increase in these diseases as people age, are seriously misinformed. The tolls of the smoking extavaganza that was the 60s, 70s, 80s & 90s are only now just starting to be realized. Other historically big smoking cultures have already peaked with their tobacco related diseases - but are far from seeing the end of it.

And the sad part about all this in Japan is the govt is just sucking up the moolah big time, reluctant to press it's cash cow JT, and the people just accept it. In no other democratic country in the world, does big brother govt control the tobacco industry by being the main puppeteer. And as the industry here gets squeezed a little by - shock horror - health nuts - they move their main operations offshore to suck it all up from the locals of developing countries. Profits to feed the govts fancies at home.

What a crock of a business.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"A tax raise of 1 yen per cigarette"

That's 20 more yen a pack! 140 more yen a week! 560 more yen a month! 6,720 more yen a year!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

100 billion yen. And that's just from a one yen tax increase. Given the that the actual tax is several hundred yen, imagine how much money smokers have been generating for the rest of society. Practically subsidizing the economy at this rate. And people will still go on claiming that "smoker's are a burden on the health care system". It truly is laughable.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Reading ur guys`s comments is way more amusing then reading the news XD

@Giseli. Yup, true . . welcome to the party.

A tax raise of 1 yen per cigarette could generate more than 100 billion yen.

LoL, how much ¥ could be generated if the gov also imposed a (ohh let's say) 5 yen tax raise for each can of beer?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And people will still go on claiming that "smoker's are a burden on the health care system". It truly is laughable. so we should just let smokers continue to smoke so they can die young and be a lasser burden to the health system, morally bankrupt argument. or we can help them quit, lead a longer healthier productive life. non smokers are proven to be more productive live and work longer. more productive means more taxes generated. then you have the emotional stresses on families that see loved one die prematurely from smoking related illness etc etc. when you look at the whole picture which many smokers dont do, smoking is a selfish habit, the positives only benefit the smoker themselves, the negatives effect the smoker there families and everybody around them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If someone wants to smoke, they have the right. We should provide support if/when they want to quit, but until that time, they can smoke if they want to.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1 flipping yen? Are you serious?

Oh, and by the way, tobacco MAY be harmful to your health.

As long as people smoke far away from non-smokers, then I will not judge. If it helps keep the population down. In other news, they say 1 in 3 Chinese men (mainland) will succumb to tobacco related diseases. As I said, if it helps.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

wtf - you nailed it.

If people could see first hand the havoc wreaked upon family and friends by tobacco addiction then maybe they would have a change of opinion.

My maternal grandfather, my mother, 2 of her brothers(my uncles) all died prematurely due to tobacco related diseases. My uncle at the age of 55, in hospital in front of his adult children - my cousins - gave a final projectile vomit of blood that sprayed around before dying there & then. A death befitting some might say - at least he enjoyed smoking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cigarettes are way too cheap here. The're ¥100 EACH in Australia. Not saying that's the way to go, but with the government digging increasingly deeper for taxable yen, surely they should be looking here? They can also look at the pachinko industry while they're at it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites