Just quit smoking to save money. That’s the message Australia wants smokers to know. It’s not easy being a smoker as the country plans to keep increasing taxes until a packet of cigarettes costs AUD$40. To minimize the number of smokers in the country, Australia was the first country in the world to introduce mandatory plain packaging for tobacco products as reported on BBC.
“Now, smoking is prohibited within 10m (33ft) of a playground, within 4m (13ft) of the entrance to a public building, at rail platforms, taxi ranks and bus stops,” said Mark Driver, Sydney’s Park and Recreation Planner. Those are the rules in New South Wales, but they are mirrored in many other states. Smoking is banned on many beaches, and most Australian states have now banned cigarettes in jail. All states ban smoking in vehicles if children are present. Fines vary, but in some places you may be fined AUD$2,000 (USD$1,515) if you smoke in the wrong place. And even if you don’t, you’ll be paying more than that each year by 2020, if you smoke just one AUD$40 pack a week… These days, smoking is often taken up by people who are on the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder, Simone Dennis, an associate professor at Australian National University, points out, “and that adds a burden of shame to people who might already be marginalised.” If it’s the poor who are now the most likely to smoke, it’s hard to see how they will ever afford the AUD$40 (USD$30) pack of cigarettes.