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The case:

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death. According to World Health Organization (WHO) report, tobacco use is currently responsible for the death of one in ten adults’ worldwide. Individuals who smoke cigarettes are 12 times more likely to die from lung cancer, two to four times more likely to develop coronary heart disease, twice as likely to have a stroke, and 10 times more likely to die from prolonged obstructive lung disease. In Pakistan, it is estimated that the frequency of tobacco smoking is 36% for males and 9% for females. Among young adults especially the university students in Pakistan, the frequency of smoking is 15% with the majority being male smokers. Approximately 1,200 children start smoking every day. This shows a huge impact not only in terms of economic costs but it is slowly depriving the country of a healthy workforce and increasing the burden of disease in the already overburdened health sector. The low prices of cigarettes and easy access for all ages amongst other factors have resulted in an increase in annual consumption from 292 cigarettes per capita in 1994 to 406 cigarettes per capita in 2007. Many ways have been suggested to reduce the use of cigarettes for all ages. One of the effective strategies recommended to reduce the use of cigarettes is to impose heavy taxes on cigarettes packs by government.



Being a student of Economics, analyze the above situation and answer that is it best strategy to impose heavy taxes on cigarettes packs to discourage people from smoking?

Give your answer with proper reasoning, by keeping in view an appropriate concept of Economics.

Views: 4379

Replies to This Discussion

Smokers use cigarettes for many reasons, but many report that they smoke to relieve anxiety, despite the health danger of cigarette smoking. Researchers are now working to understand the underlying neurochemical pathways that support smoking behavior.

"Nicotine acts like a key that unlocks nicotine receptors in the brain. Usually that key opens the receptor, but at other times nicotine is like a key that has gotten broken inside of the lock. Our findings suggest that low-dose nicotine may block a specific subtype of receptor from opening that is important for regulating anxiety behavior," she said, adding that anxiety is a major reason why people relapse to smoking.

According to my point of view strategy to apply heavy tax on tobacco business for stopping people from smoking is well and promote people to less smoking or stop but only poor people can stop because it will un affordable for them .

High cost strategy can control smoking but can’t stop at all levels.

According my point of view the heavy taxes on cigarettes industry is not the solution of the problem. Following are the ideas to reduce the size of smoking.


  1. 1.     govt limit the area of Tobacco crop
  2. 2.     If the Govt. increases the taxes on Tobacco industries, then peoples engage ourselves and spend more income for smoking.
  3. 3.     To stop smoking Govt. try to develop concept and  advertise the dangerous effect of the smoking, etc lung cancer, coronary heart disease, prolonged obstructive lung disease, kidney fail, Nicotine acts like a key that unlocks nicotine receptors in the brain, etc which leading the causes of preventable death in the world.
  4. 4.     Govt. advertises through Electronic media, print media,  Health Department the death effect of the smoking
  5. 5.     The Govt. bane the smoking advertisement.
  6. 6.       Govt., organization, universities, schools, and on public places bane the smoking.
  7. 7.     Shopkeeper’s, sale the cigarettes only adult.

MUHAMMAD ATTIQUE NAGI gud keep it up & thanks 

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Nice answer......excellent thinking.

General inform:

If the taxes would be imposed then we can see clearly according to Economics that

Cost increased due to imposing taxes, and


Cost increase      à  demand decrease

Demand decrease   à  supply decrease

And Monopoly  à  finished

 Show in graph:

Quite simple graph that show demand decrease due to price decrease and demand increase due to price increase.






Approximately 75% people are living in poverty.

  1. 1.      To increasing the cost of cigarette, the accessment will be decreased because the poor would not be access and rich would have little access. So, only few percent will remain.


  1. Great disaster of Tobacco production in economy. Like, permanent jobs would be loss in economy.


  1. 2.        Government will lose revenue.


  1. It would be disproportionate impact on poor consumers.



  1. Increasing the smuggling and illicit productions.






Strategies to control Tobacco:

I am justify according to its adv/disadv that Tobacco addiction is so strong which will not reduce demand, only raising the taxes. So, we must should be adopt some strategies like;

  1.  First and foremost strategy is tried to reduce interest of people in appropriate manner.
  2. Control rural economies that are dependent on Tobacco farming.
  3. Strictly policies would be vustudents.ning applies on ‘Students’ in institutes.
  4.  Far away youth, new user from Cigarette.
  5. Publishing and disseminating research result on the health of tobacco.
  6. Adding prominent warnings on Cigarette packs.
  7. Restricting smoking in work and public places.
  8. Wide access to nicotine replacement and other cessation therapies.

 So, in my opinion, Instead of raise taxes of Tobacco, Apply such strategies in which try to reduce the interest of people.




Do not copy…….just for idea…!!!

MY Idea:

> First discuss about price responsiveness in different groups of society for goods like cigarettes

> Cigarettes are price inelastic to demand. Means Tax induced will increase prices and almost all of price hikes burden will be upon shoulders of consumers/ smokers. Means discouraging smokers

> Some groups are price elastic to increase in price of cigarettes so they will tend or have tendency to quit smoking as prices increase of tobacco prodcuts

> some category of people are permanent users whatever prices are.. they are normally more addictive to smoking

Finally put your feedback .. is SMOKING controllable by implementing "High tax induction policy at cigarettes"..

Find appropriate economic words, put your own observations as well...

Good Luck

Higher tobacco taxes will hurt the economy.

Tax increases will lead to significant reductions in employment in tobacco growing and manufacturing, as well as more general wholesale, retail, and other economic sectors. Consequently, the tax increases will have an adverse impact on the entire economy.

Higher tobacco taxes will increase smuggling.

Tax increases on tobacco products will lead to increased smuggling, illegal cigarette production, and related criminal activity.

Higher cigarette taxes will encourage smokers to switch to cheaper cigarette brands and/or other tobacco products to avoid taxes.

Smokers will switch to cheaper brands or cheaper tobacco products. There will be no overall reduction in tobacco use.

Tax rates are already too high.

Most countries already have very high rates of taxes on tobacco products.

Tobacco companies agree with sensible industry regulation, including small and predictable tax increases that do not encourage smuggling.

Higher tobacco taxes will reduce tax revenues.

The reductions in tobacco sales caused by tax increases will be so large that it will offset the impact of the increased tax rate.

Higher tobacco taxes will hurt the poor.

Tobacco tax increases are regressive and fall disproportionately on the poor. Poor people have only few pleasures, and higher taxes will make tobacco unaffordable to them.

Higher tobacco taxes punish tobacco users.

Tobacco is a pleasure to use. Raising tobacco taxes means tobacco users will pay more money for their pleasure.

Higher tobacco taxes will not reduce tobacco use.

Since tobacco addiction is very strong, higher prices will not impact demand; therefore raising taxes is not justified.

Governments interfere with consumers’ freedom of choice when they tax tobacco and discourage use. Governments’ responsibility should end with making the risks of tobacco use widely known to people.


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