“Ah, it’s only 10 cent. It’ll be grand!” And it was, initially, but then it was 10 more and 10 more and now the very nice shop clerk will utter the response to every consumer: “that will be €9.50 please”. Lovely.
Cigarettes. Fags. Butts. Whatever name you want to put on them, in 2011 the price of 20 cigarettes in Ireland was €8.65. Every budget since then the price of cigarettes and alcohol has been hit. I suppose it can be masked as a way of reducing mortality rates or some waffle along those lines. Realistically, the Government know this will not discourage a huge amount of people from smoking.
As students, this will hit us harder than any other group. It is well known we are notorious for being broke. A lot of us struggle for money as it is and this 10 cent will feel like a lot more in the coming year.
What is most irritating to me is the attitude of the non-smoker to this.
Phrases like “good, you shouldn’t be smoking” and “it’ll stop people from smoking” are thrown around far too critically. I like to smoke, I really enjoy it and by smoking I am only exercising my right of being over 18 years old. I do not force others to smoke and I would never ridicule anyone for not smoking. Basically, I keep to myself when I do as do the vast majority of other smokers.
So why is it smokers should be targeted?
It’s very simple. Revenue. Last year tobacco sales generated just short of €2.7bn for the Irish economy. The 10c increase introduced as of yesterday, estimates to bring in about €500mn more for the year coming. It makes a lot of sense from the Government’s standpoint. It is also socially acceptable. Although the Government will receive complaints about this, they will not receive half the flack they will for the review of medical cards or the taxing of mothers on maternity leave.
These taxes smokers have endured in the past few years are very similar to age. They will go up but they will never come down: endured being the key word here. It’s drawn out at this stage. Why don’t they just end it? Make cigarettes €20.
Somehow I don’t see this happening.What do you think of Adam's alternative view to smoking? Is he right to say that as long as smoker's don't encourage others to take up the habit, they should be left alone? Or has he over-looked the health implications of long-term smoking, as outlined by our contributor, Sophie Olsthoorn? Comment below and voice your own opinion.