Nowadays, there is a growing tendency for governments to increase the taxes on cigarettes. According to the reliable statistic, former federal treasurer Chris Bowen confirmed that the government would increase the tax on cigarettes in increment; the tax on tobacco will increase by 12.5% in 2013 then again in 2014, 2015 and 2016. This is an additional 60% by September 2016. The tax has been widely praised by a range of public health spokespeople and criticised by the tobacco industry.
However, there is no doubt about tobacco tax increases offer a win-win solution for Australia; especially as it resolve the public health issues and work to balance budgets while promoting essential public services.
What are the reasons for it? I’ll venture to explore the reasons carefully.
First and foremost, increasing the tax on cigarettes will promote public health. As everyone knows, smoking cigarettes pose a major treat our health and carries serious health effects. The former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd indicates, ‘Tobacco consumption caused 30 per cent of cancer and it’s estimated this will kill 15,000 Australia each year.’ Also, second-hand smoke from cigarettes has been the major menace to innocent bystanders, especially pregnant women; it may generate birth defects including low birth weight or low immunity or even abnormalities in newborn babies. Do you wish for your offspring to be exposed to these health risks in the future? To sum up, the action to increase taxes on cigarettes and thus reduce the number of peoples who begin or continue to smoke will help to advance their own and other people’s health.
Furthermore, increasing the tax on cigarettes will reduce the number of people who begin smoking, especially among youth and the economically disadvantaged. Increasing in cost of cigarettes will lead to a significant number of people quitting smoking. The price of cigarettes is expected to rise markedly, make it unaffordable in the next few years. For example, the cheapest packet of cigarettes will rise by $0.98 after the first increase and by $5.25 by 2016; consequently the high price of cigarettes would deter most people and encourage them to get rid of their smoking habits. As a result, increasing the cost of cigarette is a particularly effective way to discourage teenagers from beginning smoking or compel those who are economically disadvantaged stop smoking.
Moreover, increasing the tax on cigarettes will support essential public services. At the end of the 2013, then federal treasurer Chris Bowen has announced that to ‘raise tax on tobacco would be one of the biggest revenue earners for the government, $5.3 billion tax will make a contribution to returning to the surplus 2016-17.’ Almost all of that revenue goes into the Australian government’s general fund and federal finances; hence, it would create more