Support Higher Tax On Cigarettes

There’s a move to have the tax on cigarettes increased by a substantial amount. According to news reports, the proposed increase would drive up the price of a cigarette pack to P120. I think the average price now is about P30. I can already imagine heavy smokers wincing in pain.

(info from www.abs-cbnnews.com)

The Department of Health (DOH) is pushing for a 400% increase in the tax on cigarettes. The tax hike would bring up the price of a cigarette stick from P2 to P7, and a pack from P30 to P120.

The DOH said the move would help reduce the number of smokers in the country, deter the youth who comprise 20% of the smoking population while allowing government to raise revenue to bring down the budget deficit.

DOH research shows that 4 out of 10 Filipino adults smoke, while over 20% of Filipino smokers are between 15 to 20 years old.

I was once a smoker too. Fortunately those days are already behind me so if ever this tax measure pushes through I won’t be experiencing any stress over it.

If it were up to me I’d push for an even higher tax. I’d make the cost of cigarettes so prohibitive smokers will have no choice but to give up this habit. It’s all been said before but I’ll say it again anyway. Smoking is bad for you, period.

There’s one other reason why I will support this tax measure. Again I imagine the high cost of cigarettes forcing smokers to quit. To me that would also be good for the environment.

Did you know that cigarette filters are made of material that take several years to degrade?

(info from www.wikipedia.org)

Disposal

Most cigarette filters are made from cellulose acetate. Depending on conditions, estimates for the time taken for them to degrade range from British American Tobacco’s 10 months – 3 years,[6] to 10-15 years.[7]
A cigarette filter littered on the ground of the Dipsea Trail

This resistance to biodegrading is a factor in littering,[8] environmental damage[9] and suggested lung damage.[10][11] In the 2006 International Coastal Cleanup, cigarettes and cigarette butts constituted 24.7% of the total collected garbage, over twice as much as any other category.[12]

(info from www.cigarettelitter.org)

There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding cigarette butt litter. The biggest myth is that cigarette filters are biodegradable. In fact, cigarette butts are not biodegradable in the sense that most people think of the word. The acetate (plastic) filters can take many years to decompose. Smokers may not realize that their actions have such a lasting, negative impact on the environment.

And here’s a Mt. Banahaw pilgrim’s observation:

(info from www.mb.com.ph)
“Take nothing but pictures; Leave nothing but footprints; Kill nothing but time,” according to a famous mountaineers’ creed. Mt. Banahaw had become a pilgrims’ oasis triggered by a hermit’s prophecy a long time ago at a far away place from common civilization shall be the next holy land. Since then, people have been flocking to Mt. Banahaw seeking for miraculous water, healing powers, and divine intercessions. However, along with its popularity came stone graffiti, steel railings, souvenir shops, and cigarette butts among other unimaginable garbage left on every track all across Mt. Banahaw’s sacred grounds..

No doubt about it, cigarette butts are among the most common waste materials that end up clogging our sewers and waterways. Like the sachet, cigarette filters are small but terrible.

Unlike smoke, these don't just vanish into thin air.

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3 Responses to Support Higher Tax On Cigarettes

  1. chinkee tan says:

    Out higher tax on all sin taxes, this does eat so much on our health care budget.
    it is about time to tax it higher so to pay for the people who are going to be affected by the ills effects of smoking.

  2. kikas_head says:

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/a-call-to-recycle-cigarette-butts/

    There is hope for cigarette butts. But still raise the taxes.

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