It is rare that I agree entirely with Sunny Ntayombya on his articles, but here (refer to the article, “Higher taxes will not stop people from smoking” published in The New Times on March 11) he hit the nail on the head.
First we have to acknowledge that cigarettes are addictive and therefore the consumer is not a rational market player. Most drug dealers realise that their consumers are not as price sensitive regarding addictive substances as they are for things like movie tickets.
Increasing the taxes punishes the poor who will continue to purchase the product to their own financial detriment. The rich will not realise a slight change on that scale.
In fact, the best way to curb cigarette smoking has been proven to make it inconvenient. That is to say, legislate who can sell it, who they can sell it to and where one can smoke.
There are many ways to stop smoking and they all work just like car types. However, if the addicted won’t utilise them and still think smoking is cool, then society has no option but to tax them—through the nose if necessary.
They pollute our environment. I quit when I had reached 30 cigarettes per day and still adding. I used a method called ‘cold turkey’. Grow up and try it. It worked for me in 1998 and I have not looked back.
Prohibiting the sale of single cigarettes is a very important step in discouraging tobacco use.
Forcing consumers to purchase, for example, 20 cigarettes at a time raises the price threshold to tobacco access and makes buying cigarettes a heavier financial commitment (over a long period of time).
It is of course, not going to stop ever one from smoking, but it’s an important step that will have a noticeable impact.
Furthermore, tax revenue generated from cigarette sales can be channeled into the healthcare to lessen the financial burden that some life-long smokers will eventually have on the health system.
I would support raising the tax on tobacco products and prohibiting the sale of single cigarettes.