The debate on cigarettes heats up in Toowoomba.
The debate on cigarettes heats up in Toowoomba. MrKornFlakes

Toowoomba smoking debate turns to price hikes

IT WAS revealed that Australian smokers blow $14 billion a year on cigarettes, and now Toowoomba residents are chiming in on this figure.

In a poll posted to The Chronicle's Facebook page, 543 people revealed they did not smoke, a number that dwarfed the 141 people who said they did.

The comments section of the poll centred around the smoking stigma. Some said the shocking monetary figure represented recent price hikes, not smoking frequency.

"Lazy government trying to tax its way to prosperity," Don Pruhdome said, in relation to the increasing costs.

"The government keeps bumping the price of smokes and alcohol up to offset the health system costs but tell me this? Where will the money come from once everyone stops drinking and smoking?" Nathan Debney said.

"More tax on fuel? Excessive tax on fast food and sugar? Higher fuel prices and registrations? 30 per cent income tax or 20 per cent GST? Either which way, everyone is going to have to continually fork out to supplement the smoke tax."

"Well if the government legalised nicotine use for vaping we wouldn't have this problem," Chris Jones said.

"But because they want to keep making ridiculous amounts of tax from the cigarettes (they don't provide) a safer option to help (people) quit."

Others turned their attention to another popular vice.

"I read somewhere that only 13 per cent of Australians smoke, I wonder what the percentage of people are who drink?" Katrina Wolff said.

"I know many people who buy alcohol daily, and I also know people who have cut their cigarettes back to one packet a week, just struggling to quit completely," Dee McGowan said.

"At the end of the day they are both legal vices that cost the community money. I would also be interested in seeing the figures for alcohol purchases."

You can read the original article here.



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