Photo compares pack of cigarettes to how many groceries you can buy for the same price

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For the people who have both food and smokes - they will go “meh”.

For the poor people who have trouble affording both, you think they don’t know that? They will just get more Ramen or what ever.

Maybe your sin tax isn’t working out the way you had hoped if you gotta make it a “food or smokes” thing.

I say this disliking smoking, but still. Come on. 30 years from now they probably will have a similar ad showing how much food you could buy instead of the canister of legalized weed.


Yeah but years of smoking that makes you sounds like Ma from Ma’s Roadhouse is priceless


Also, $40 AUD goes a long way on groceries! The original Reddit post got taken down for some reason so I can’t get a real good look at the image, but I see what amounts to at least 6lb of assorted meat there, not to mention a variety of dairy, produce, and shelf-stable goods. Granted, I don’t shop at the downmarket-est grocery chains, but even at Food Lion that’d be a pretty good haul for $35 USD.

[edit typo]


It’s an interesting comparison, but I immediately dislike such posts because they’re poverty shaming. Addictions are damned hard to quit, and people use this sort of information to attack poor folks who are addicted to nicotine.


The image from Reddit says a pack of cigarettes costs $35-$40 in Australia. The BoingBoing summary says it “sells for $20” and links to an article that says it costs “more than US$25”.

I’m going to go ahead and say, with no evidence, that cigarettes are free in Australia.


How can you say that without examining cigarette sales trends in Australia?

They’ve made them crazy expensive. I’d be surprised if sales haven’t dropped. If they have, then the tax is working. Calling it a “sin tax” doesn’t change anything.


so it equals two pieces of Avocado Toast?


There’s good evidence that cigarette taxation is currently the best intervention to reduce smoking.


I don’t particularly like “sin taxes” or whatever you want to call them. That bag of chips and the ice cream in the picture? If obesity was taxed the same way lung cancer was, you wouldn’t be paying $35 for that huge pile of food.

Anyone in AU know where that extra tax money goes? Some should go to fund the fire-fighting effort since I bet a lot of those brush fires might be cigarette-induced.

Here’s an idea: add a $1 per cigarette butt refundable tax. When you’re done with your smoke, put it out and in the baggie all smokers will be carrying around. Any money not recuperated goes to fire fighting. Less pollution, less wild fire, and a slight discouragement against an addiction most people should be trying like hell to fight. Former smoker here. I’ve been good for a few years now; slightly fell off the wagon with Mint Juuls for 2-3 months when they were out (god they were good) but they don’t sell them any more and after having quit for so long I no longer find the taste of regular tobacco (or even menthol) palatable.

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I’d hate to be the poor state agent who has to sit there and count cigarette butts in order to issue someone a refund.


Yeah, that’s some serious bio-hazard stuff right there. I just hate it when people think "I don’t want my car smelling like smoke, so I’mma just gonna throw this non-biodegradable piece of burning trash out of the window. Or when outside a store with no butt collection mechanism, people who think it’s okay just to flick it on the ground since it will just “magically wash away” during the next storm.

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I am all for reducing smoking - but the presentation of this as “food or smokes” is ghoulish, IMO. One is a necessity and one is not. A better analogy would be other items one does for “fun”. Like booze, or Pokemon cards, or what ever people buy with their money these days.

Like I said, it fucks the poor over more as well as the cool kids.

And it is a “sin” tax. I suppose some level of sin tax makes sense. But it also means someone else’s behaviors they want to curb they can start taxing as well.

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I agree if the country issuing the sin tax doesn’t also have free universal healthcare with compassionate smoking cessation programs that can be the other end of this… cough America cough*

*pun intended, I suppose…


Imagine if we imposed a similar sin tax on guns. We’d have far fewer of those too.


A secondary benefit of picking food over smokes is that you can actually taste the food. :open_mouth:

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That’s not really a useful comparison when we are talking about addictions. You can tax the hell out of cigarettes all you want. You can show pictures like this. You can put cancer pictures on the package.

Folks that smoke are addicted. None of it will matter. Physically addictive substances don’t have an elastic demand.


Next the smokers will all be on fire.

Along with others here I am a bit perplexed at the intent of the comparison. Maybe there is not one.

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Between this year’s price increases, conversion between Australian and US dollars, and fluctuating exchange rates, there’s a whole load of ways to confuse the numbers. Here’s an article that keeps things consistent:


Shouldn’t the tax be on bullets?

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