Number of smokers in Japan increasing even after increased prices

A study conducted by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare shows that the amount of smokers have raised in Japan regardless of the sudden boost in prices because of a tax rise enforced in October 2010.

Lighted Cigarette

Burning cigarette

The records from the study demonstrate that the percentage of the adult smokers was at 32.4% for males and 9.7% for females in 2011. In comparison, male smokers accounted for 32.2% while female smokers were at 8.4% in 2010.

The government’s step to raise taxes, and consequently prices, on cigarettes had its good results as well. 29.2%, or 880 out of 3,013 regular smoking people questioned during the study in 2011, said that the tax rise have an effect on their smoking habits. 4.4% or 132 of that quantity said that they have completely quit smoking due to increased cigarettes taxes, while 11.4% or 343 people said that they only cut the quantity of cigarettes they smoked. 9.3 or 281 people, however, said that their giving up or reduction of cigarettes was only short-term.

The government enforced a sudden tax increase in October 2010, the highest ever rise on tax on cigarettes. This forced the prices of a pack of cigarettes to increase by 100 yen ($1 U.S. dollar). This has evidently not totally discouraged smokers or tobacco companies. Just a few days ago, Philip Morris began to market a can of Tully’s Barista Blend coffee for each pack of its Lark cigarettes, costing 410 yen ($5 U.S. dollars).


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