Make cars too expensive to buy and use. No, seriously. That’s the approach we use for smoking, so why not for cars and other things we want to socially engineer to be too expensive for most to use?
From 1 January 2016, the price of cigarettes will increase by 10 percent, the fourth and final scheduled annual increase.
The government has yet to announce whether it will commit to further annual price increases, but has said it wants to make the country to be smoke-free by 2025.
End Smoking NZ chairwoman Marewa Glover not only wants the increase to continue, she wants the government to raise it.
“I found with our studies people tend to have a budget. So they might say their budget is $15 for tobacco, a day and then they just make it work. They’ll buy loose tobacco, they’ll shift from the manufactured tobacco packets to loose tobacco and start rolling their own, to make it go further.”
“They try and reduce down the number of cigarettes per day. They try and stay within their budget and what helps them by also shifting to a cheaper brand,” she said.
Dr Glover said a 20 percent increase would make smoking unobtainable for more people.
“A lot of people have a price, what we call a break point and if it gets to that then they go ”oh no, that’s it, I can’t do this anymore, I have to quit’, and they will make a serious attempt.”
But, Dr Marewa Glover isn’t stupid. She knows that if you make something too expensive, or you effectively ban it, people will try to find a way around it somehow. Read more »