Smokers immune to cigarette price hike

30 Nov

BY ANG PEI SHEN

KUALA LUMPUR – The highest record of cigarette price hike in the country would burn a hole in smokers’ pocket.  National Kenaf and Tobacco Board (LKTN) announced that the price hike will be effective starting today.

Increase price to reduce smokers

It is believed that the British American Tobacco (BAT) had received letters last Saturday that a pack of 20’s would now cost RM10. It is also predicted that the price hike might affect the overall cigarette sales.

BAT claimed that the price hike will increase the illicit cigarettes in market. They are also aware that there will be more campaign by government to discourage potential smokers.

Government takes precautious to reduce smokers

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai commented that the price hike will subsequently help to decrease the numbers of smokers in Malaysia. He added that the government had also set up clinics to help smokers quit smoking as tobacco is the number one killer in the country.

Studies had also proven that by increasing the tax of the cigarette, it becomes a burden to children, teenagers and lower income family as their income may not allow them to do so. Similarly, a smoker would reduce a pack per day not because of price hike but for health concerns.

However, Nazri, a smoker for more than 10 years denied the statement. “Smoking has already become a habit. Once you start, it is hard to stop,” he said. However, he also commented that there is a cheaper way to smoke, which is by smoking do-it-yourself cigarettes with tobacco.

Health is important

“It is rather a two ways factor,” commented Lim, another heavy smoker. “When price increased, I will not stop smoking but I will reduce my smoking pattern because I came upon realization that my health is very important.”


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