Yesterday, I went to the store to buy two packs of cigarettes for my friends. They were ¥440 yen per pack! I quit smoking when they were ¥300 (or so). I was shocked at how expensive one pack has become!
Now, the news comes out that, n the month before a hefty tax on cigarettes came into effect, sales of cigarettes jumped 88%!
From Japan Times:
Cigarette sales in September jumped 88.0 percent from a year before to 37.4 billion cigarettes as the largest-ever tobacco tax hike on Oct. 1 spurred last-minute buying, according to the Finance Ministry. The ministry said this may be the sharpest increase ever and it is paying attention to the possible blow tobacco farmers and retailers may suffer in and after October.
Of course that is going to happen before a large increase, but my two friends both told me that they used to smoke 2 1/2 packs a day. Now, they smoke less than a pack a day.
I guess that just goes to prove that, when taxes are raised, in the long run, sales will decline. Look for tobacco sales to drop off a cliff until at least next year; people are cutting down now because of the price increases and the really smart ones will get fed up with the tax nonsense and quit.
But, as we know, the fools running our government never learn for the past.