A survey made by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare reveals that the number of smokers have increased in the country despite the sharp increase in prices due to a tax hike implemented in October 2010.
The data from the survey show that the percentage of the smoking adult population was at 32.4 percent for males and 9.7 percent for females in 2011. In contrast, male smokers were at 32.2 percent while female smokers were at 8.4 percent in 2010. The government’s move to increase taxes, and therefore prices, on cigarettes had its positive effects as well. 29.2 percent, or 880 out of 3,013 regular smokers interviewed during the survey in 2011, reported that the tax hike affected their smoking habits. 4.4 percent or 132 of that number said they have permanently stopped smoking because of it, while 11.4 percent or 343 people said they only reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked. 9.3 or 281 people, however, said that their quitting or reduction of cigarettes was only temporary.
The government implemented a sharp tax hike in October 2010, the highest ever increase on tax on cigarettes. This pushed the prices of a pack of cigarettes up by 100 yen ($1 U.S. dollar) or more. This has apparently not completely discouraged smokers or cigarette companies. Just a few weeks ago, Philip Morris started to offer a can of Tully’s Barista Blend coffee for every pack of its Lark brand of cigarettes, costing 410 yen ($5 U.S. dollars).
[ via ABS CBN ]
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