Dad has finally quit smoking, after over two decades of intense smoking, due to health concerns. He will save plenty of money, which can be used to buy cookies and other munchies for me. I’m so happy that he’s no longer addicted to the poison churned out by the big tobacco companies.
But dad is not entirely happy with the big tobacco companies in Singapore. They have generally raised cigarette prices by 40 cents or 3.6 per cent to S$11.60, although the government has increased the Goods and Services Tax by only 2 percentage points to 7 per cent. Yet, nobody has accused the tobacco companies of profiteering.
It’s not easy to wean one from cigarettes even though Singapore has one of the most expensive cigarettes in the world. Perhaps, the government should use this opportunity to ban cigarettes in Singapore completely following the higher-than-expected price hike.
The steep rise in cigarette price in Singapore has also unwittingly spawned a huge underground industry – smuggling by Singaporeans and foreigners.
According to The Straits Times today, the quantity of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized in the first five months this year has surpassed that for the whole of last year. Between January and May, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority seized a record 1.17 million packs of these cigarettes, compared to the 1.12 million packs confiscated through last year.
A pack of cigarettes now cost Singapore S$11.60 or a staggering RM25, which is more than three times the price tag of RM8 after the 60 sen increase in Malaysia. ST reckoned that black-market cigarettes in Johor Baru cost just RM$4 (S$1.80) a pack, against S$5 that illegal touts here charge.
Well, it’s all academic to dad now who is determined to stop smoking. Mom and I hope dad will succeed in kicking the disgusting habit. We will burn down the tobacco companies should he fail to stop consuming their drug. Woof woof :-)