In an attempt to discourage smokers from lighting up, New Zealand is considering raising the price of a pack of cigarettes to as much as $100 by 2020, Sky News reported.
The suggested measure is one of many ideas from New Zealand’s Ministry of Health to make the country smoke-free by 2025, according to a document released to 3 News in New Zealand.
Another option being considered would be to increase the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes 10 percent each year from 2013 to 2025 – eventually costing $40 a pack. The more extreme $100 a pack version would be achieved by an immediate price increase of 30 to 60 percent, with an annual increase of 30 percent.
The briefing paper said: “Tobacco taxation is the single most effective intervention available to drive down smoking prevalence figures.”
I think one of the huge flaws with any of these thoughts are that they think somehow tobacco or alcohol are different than other recreational drugs. Humans like to alter their state, and with the exception on the Inuit people (who are limited in the land they live in) EVERY known human culture has a drug they do.
America we’re 100% OK with somebody buying a coffee, a pack of smokes, and a six-pack. They try to limit how and where they use them, but overall they’re free clear for anybody with the money and the proper age.
Other nations have other drugs, some have religious experiences with various hallucinogens, others allow the opiates we forbid (unless you have a doctor’s prescription of course!).
People will want their cigarettes. Maybe they’ll turn to Electronic Cigarettes which offer all the nicotine joys of the burning butt, but without all the awful health risks, or maybe they’ll just ask the people who smuggle in the Cocaine and Heroin to toss in a few tax-free cartons of smokes.
As for young kids getting hooked for the first time, think of how much people pay for a hit of Coke, Crack, or Weed. There isn’t a price too high to try for the first time, its just a question of maintaining the habit, and again if an artificial price wall is created people will just tunnel under it.
Just look at all the illegal use of Oxycontin! Where there is a demand there is a way.
The War on Drugs will never win a single battle, can we give up now?