Raising tax will not deter smokers
The government increased tobacco tax last year. This year, it has further raised the tax. Now a pack of cigarettes costs about HK$54. But I do not think the move will help to reduce the number of smokers.
First, people who are addicted to smoking will not just quit because they have to pay extra. They cannot kick the bad habit. And those who cannot afford the higher prices will turn to illegal or fake cigarettes. There are plenty of those on the mainland. Fake cigarettes will do more harm than real ones.
I think the government is only trying to increase its revenue. If the government really wants people to stop smoking, it should, like Singapore, impose a complete ban on smoking.
Sabatini, Delia Memorial School (Hip Wo)
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Sabatini. Smoking is not completely banned in Singapore, but the places where people are allowed to smoke are severely limited. It is hard to support a complete ban on something like smoking because we know from past experience that this does not work. More importantly, it creates more problems than it solves as it allows criminals to take advantage of the market.
The only way really to cure the smoking addiction is to make it uncool. Most students already think it is uncool and hopefully the rest will change their minds soon.