I don't smoke....but where ever I go in the world....I tend to note cigarette prices as one of those things about an economy.
I turned a newspaper page this morning and noted this political talk going on in Australia. Malcolm Turnbull, who leads the government....wants to find a way for smokers to fund their own health care. So his idea is.....raising the cost of a single pack (28 smokes) to $40 Aussie dollars. That's roughly $32 American dollars.
Most smokers would be standing in a daze....if someone suggested a single pack to run $32. A two-pack a day smoker? He could afford a fairly new car with what he'd pay for smokes.
The deal would work this way...the prices would gradually be worked up....roughly 12.5 per cent a quarter, until they reached mythical price.
Billions off a tax like this? Well....yeah....unless people quit smoking.
My bet is that the vapor crowd would eventually go underground, and most smokers would flip over to vapor (via some local street dealer) to get their nicotine fix. The government would wake up six months into an episode like this to find a massive loss on tax revenue collected.
Would be accepted by the Australian people? It's hard to say. If you were looking for one single issue to vote against the party in charge.....this might be enough.