Author: SherrySongSHSF

Raise cigarette prices to snuff teen smoking?   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-3-9 20:29:48 |Display all floors
Jaaja Post time: 2017-3-9 12:34
Here is a study closer to home, from Taiwan:

http://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10 ...

Price increases are never a good solution. What they actually achieve is to drive the cigarette trade underground. Ciggies will be smuggled, and you can bet the players are already waiting to push into this niche market.

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Post time 2017-3-9 20:47:46 |Display all floors
seneca Post time: 2017-3-9 20:29
Price increases are never a good solution. What they actually achieve is to drive the cigarette tr ...

Neverthless, if cigarettes can be so easily smuggled, then lot of other product can too, and closing those doors should be something the government should do anyway.

Therefore I don't think that smuggling argumentation stands.

Through few examples I have been trying to demonstrate that almost 100% of research on this matter shows that price increase of tobacco decreases consumption.

But, I don't know how these studies measure consumption of tobacco - is it just through official sales data, or do they count in smuggled imports and actually observe how much people smoke. I'm sure there is data somewhere about that, and I would speculate that even with smuggling offsetting some of the effect, the effect is still positive.

As someone mentioned, and as the research I quoted from Taiwain also demonstrated, educated increase of tobacco tax can both decrease consumption and increase tax revenue, so in countries where the state does not depend on tobacco sales there is no reason to not do it - even if the benefit would be very small.

China is different, because tobacco sales are not only tax revenue, but also sales revenue for the state. China should urgently change that.

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Post time 2017-3-9 21:27:05 |Display all floors
Jaaja Post time: 2017-3-9 20:47
Neverthless, if cigarettes can be so easily smuggled, then lot of other product can too, and closi ...

When you raise the price of a consumer product the product as such gains status as fewer people can afford to consume it. Goods that are artificially rarefied by don't of price hikes only become more attractive. Cigarettes can easily become a status symbol for the social climbers. Thus the higher prices might in fact make the desire of smoking cigarettes an even more urgent need as smokers can show off whereas non-smokers cannot.

This is the perverse outcome to be feared if cigarette prices get raised. The exact same scenario unfolded in N America after the Prohibition came into force against alcohol. Booze was smuggled into the U.S.A.  from Canada Alcoholism became a much bigger scourge than it was before the Prohibition went into force.

We see the same in illicit drugs. The ban on recreational drugs has onlyspread the affliction acrosswider swathes of society. Drugs, booze and tobacco are consumer goods that no one needs and many want because of the status that goes with consuming them.

So if the prices were actually lowered the effect could be the opposite: ewer would smoke because everyone could afford to and the ciggies would no longer have the nimbus of being something exclusive.

Let us not forget that if you try to put cigarettes out of the reach of juveniles by hiking the price you only make the youths more acutely aware of the differences between their various standards of living. The poor will feel disadvantaged, the spoilt kids from upper classes will shamelessly exploit their advantage.

No, this isn't likely to work. Who is responsible for youths that smoke? It is their parents. They should be penalised for not monitoring their children's antisocial habits.

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Post time 2017-3-9 21:43:17 |Display all floors
seneca Post time: 2017-3-9 21:27
When you raise the price of a consumer product the product as such gains status as fewer people ca ...

Well I just cannot ignore so many scientific studies, that plain and simply show that raising tobacco price decreases consumption. I even quoted research (fom Canada I believe) that demonstrated, that the effect is even bigger among youth and young adults than the general public.

If expensive cigarettes would make the poor aware of their situation, so much better - it is another thing that China needs, people to realize just where they are and why. Let the rich put themselves to grave younger due to smoking, they can afford the healthcare better anyway. I don't think that smoking becoming a status symbol will be a bad thing to happen.

It is their parents. They should be penalised for not monitoring their children's antisocial habits


In Chinese context, I really don't believe that lowering cigarette prices would decrease consumption! Smoking in China is like handshakes in western countries. It is something you are expected to participate to. It's the exact opposite of "antisocial habits" here.

And by no means am I saying that raising cigarette price is the only way to reduce smoking. Graphic warnings in cigarette packs is also needed, and is proven to work same way as raising price is.

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Post time 2017-3-9 22:23:24 |Display all floors
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Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. Mark Twain

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Post time 2017-3-9 23:38:22 |Display all floors
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It's hard to win an argument with a smart person. It's damned near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person.
Stupid people are like Glowsticks. You want to snap them in half and shake the crap out of them until they see the light.

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Post time 2017-3-9 23:46:44 |Display all floors
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It's hard to win an argument with a smart person. It's damned near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person.
Stupid people are like Glowsticks. You want to snap them in half and shake the crap out of them until they see the light.

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