New taxes jack up costs, change smoking patterns

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09:29 PM February 14th, 2013

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By: Allan Nawal, February 14th, 2013 09:29 PM

DAVAO CITY—Forgot to buy your cigarette or did you suddenly run out of a stick to light?

Think twice before mooching a stick from a friend because the answer will most likely be: “I ran out of a cigarette myself.”

The days of smoker generosity are disappearing and the new Sin Tax Law has everything to do with it.

The new law, which seeks to generate more government revenue supposedly for health programs, is pushing up cigarette costs by at least 50 percent.

Fidel, who has since shifted from a well-known to an obscure but cheaper cigarette brand, said he would most likely turn down a friend’s plea for a stick of cigarette because cigarettes now are more expensive.

The well-known brand retails for P4 a stick nowadays here while the obscure one sells for P2 a stick.

Bernie, another smoker, said he is now ashamed to mooch cigarettes from friends because he knows smoking is now an expensive vice.

“It would be akin to molesting them already,” Bernie said of his new found hesitance to mooch cigarettes from friends.

Bernie said he, too, has become stingy when it comes to friends mooching cigarettes from him. He said he often lies about having cigarettes to friends so he won’t be forced to give away cigarettes.

“It’s better than flatly turning them down,” he said.

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