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Hello all I'm currently doing a year 12 Legal Studies assignment with the focus question being:

"Will the proposed legislation regarding cigarette taxes be effective in deter people from smoking?"

If you're unaware of this issue, a general overview of it is that the government are considering raising the tax on cigarettes (similar to what they did the alcopops). The tax increase would mean that cigarettes would be at a minium of about $20 for a packet of 30. The idea behind this is to decrease the total amount of people smoking.

I would really appreciate if you could take a couple minutes to answer some questions and give your opinions on the matter.


Age-
Smoker/Non Smoker

Would you support an increase in cigarette tax?
Why/why not?

What do you believe is or would be the most effective way of encouraging smokers to quit?

Why do you think people take up smoking in the first place?

What would be an effective way of discouraging people to take up smoking.



You don't have to answer and or all of these but any that you answered would be greatly appriciated for my research. Thank you.
 

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Never smoked before.

I don't care too much either way. I think taxes are already pretty high on cigarettes in Australia.

Having never smoked, I really don't know people start smoking. Maybe peer pressure, boredom.

I think Australia has done a pretty good job at cutting down smokers, especially if you compare it to Indonesia and China. Other than banning it all together, I don't think you can do much more.
 

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Age- 50+
Smoker/Non Smoker - only smoked socially for a very short time

Would you support an increase in cigarette tax? - YES

Why/why not? - Filthy habit and over indulgence can lead to high health services cost.

What do you believe is or would be the most effective way of encouraging smokers to quit? - public awareness campaigns are good, perhaps to be extended to taking secondary school students to morgues to see some good innards might help and then make taxes ultra high along with people having to pay higher medicare surcharges

Why do you think people take up smoking in the first place? , as Mike says, peer pressure, boredom, also anxiety or just a social thing sometimes without pressure - my case for instance and a mate and I might have been playing cards Fridat nights and another would be a smoker and so after a few beers, it might be "lets have a smoke too" - the addiction of the circumstances.

What would be an effective way of discouraging people to take up smoking.

About same as in " What do you believe is or would be the most effective way of encouraging smokers to quit? "
 

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Age- 24
Smoker

Would you support an increase in cigarette tax?
Yes--smokers can eventually put a lot of monetary strain on the health system so its only fair. BUT it is hardly going to stop people from smoking--people are addicted and will spend as much money as they have to to feed the addiction.

What do you believe is or would be the most effective way of encouraging smokers to quit?
Benefits via health plan--example: if you quit you get a few months membership at a gym paid for by your health insurance, other insurance covered benefits. This would work for doctors too--the government could give "bonuses" to doctors who get patients to quit giving them the incentive to encourage smokers to try quitting therapies such as chantix, the patch etc....

Why do you think people take up smoking in the first place? Social reasons, then they get hooked unfortunatly.

What would be an effective way of discouraging people to take up smoking? Take school trips, not to the morgue, but to the cancer ward to visit terminally ill lung cancer patients. Never mind seeing what the bodies look like, check out the suffering before you become that body.

I am a smoker, but i don't support smoking. Been tryng to quit this year to no avail, boo!
 

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Age 23, smoker

I think that the price is a big factor, if the ciggis would cost 20-30 Dollar I would buy them. Especially it would stop young smoker that dont earn money. But I think that there would be a way to get cigarettes cheaper. And yes, the taxes in Australia are still very high. The increase them I think it wouldnt be a good idea.

I think to stop smoke is your own decision and the reasons to stop are different from person to person. Maybe it depends on circle of friends (if there are only non-smoker you wouldnt smoke, too), your experiences with persons that maybe died because of smoking or whatever. Its very individual I think.

I like the idea of elkitten with the Benefits via health plan.
 

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I never smoke nor planning to taste it.

I don't really care since smoker doesn't care as well whether the tax on cigarette will increase.Certainly they will still buy cigarettes and no one can stop them, I think smoker needs strong motivation and will power to stop from smoking. On the other hand, on my point of view smoking is a personal choice therefore, people who are already addicted with it, even you increase the tax on cigarette and scare them that smoking is bad to their health they will still buy cigarette.
 

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Non smoker.

I am afraid increase in tax on cigarette doesn't help smokers to discourage from smoking.

Why do people take up smoking? : Mostly start smoking in teenage as fashion or get influenced by friends or classmates. Also looking at parents smoke , influence children to to imitate them.

How to discourage? : Best way is to conduct counseling at schools and colleges. Yet strong will power is needed to quit smoking.

Age- 50+
Smoker/Non Smoker - only smoked socially for a very short time

Would you support an increase in cigarette tax? - YES

Why/why not? - Filthy habit and over indulgence can lead to high health services cost.

What do you believe is or would be the most effective way of encouraging smokers to quit? - public awareness campaigns are good, perhaps to be extended to taking secondary school students to morgues to see some good innards might help and then make taxes ultra high along with people having to pay higher medicare surcharges

Why do you think people take up smoking in the first place? , as Mike says, peer pressure, boredom, also anxiety or just a social thing sometimes without pressure - my case for instance and a mate and I might have been playing cards Fridat nights and another would be a smoker and so after a few beers, it might be "lets have a smoke too" - the addiction of the circumstances.

What would be an effective way of discouraging people to take up smoking.

About same as in " What do you believe is or would be the most effective way of encouraging smokers to quit? "
 

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Age- 54
Smoker/Non Smoker Non-smoker

Would you support an increase in cigarette tax? Yes

Why/why not? I would support for 2 reasons. Firstly the health and community costs of smoking are huge and we need to recoup money from the people who are generating those costs. Secondly there is strong clinical proof that raised prices reduce the incidence of smoking, saving lives and lowering costs to families and communities.

What do you believe is or would be the most effective way of encouraging smokers to quit? Certainly not the gruesome images that have been used. These simply don't work as an aversion technique and completely fail to understand that the images are outside of the person's normal reality and don't have impact. Ads which portray smoking as dirty, stupid, or uncool are more likely to be effective. If we combined this type of ad series with raised prices, and made evidence-based quit programs available for free, I think we'd lower smoking rates quite significantly.

Why do you think people take up smoking in the first place? I sure don't think anyone actually enjoys the experience initially. Most people take it up to look older, or cooler, or mimic someone they admire. Rebellion can be a factor. Studies show that smoking rates are higher amongst unsupervised children. That's why one of the key strategies for parents is ensuring their children don't go to shops/malls/street corners without supervision.

What would be an effective way of discouraging people to take up smoking. Definitely limit exposure to smoking as much as possible. This is why it's so important to prohibit smoking in public, and smoking in cars (not just the obvious heightened health risks from passive smoking). And this is also why people on quit programs are told to smoke away from others and to ensure their clothing, skin, hair and breath is residue free before coming in contact with other people. Smoking is actually so dangerous, with cancer and respiratory disease rates in grandchildren and great grandchildren of smokers up to 50 times the population average, that it should actually be prohibited altogether.
 

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Age : 48
Smoker.
I would support an increased tax.
Firstly, it is a minor incentive to stop social smoking.
Secondly, after all the years of collecting taxes on cigarettes, the day will come where there will be almost no smokers left to pay this tax.
Which means the loss of such large amounts of taxes will mean a new evil to fight and be accepted socially to be taxed. The logical replacement will be a high tax on alcohol,which can be socially engineered in the same way as cigarettes with all the health and antisocial issues. That is one cause I would join in as I consider alcohol the base of a lot of street brawling , and antisocial behaviour and would like to see it banned.

Why its taken up ?
People take it up for carious reasons. In my case it was life pressures, work and such stresses. On hindsight it is a copout, but also it got me through where without smoking I was getting quite dizzy with various work and life pressures. I fully believe smoking helped me from having a breakdown. I would assume it is a stress relief which would explain how most soldier in the previous wars coped with their greater stresses. I seem to recall in history where a French brigade in WW1 threatened mutiny if there smoking rations were cut.

Best way to discourage smoking ?
Can it be done ?
Drug use occurs and I would think it would be more expensive.
Also people are aware of the dangers.
Nope, cant see it happening.
I guess people feel that their life is there own.
But it really isnt their's, is it ?
 

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If there were no smokers and therefore no taxes from cigarettes etc, we would actually be far better off because we would have substantially decreased cardio-pulmonary-respiratory disease, as well as a raft of cancers. We would also reduce heart disease and cancers in the children and grandchildren of smokers, as much as 50 times in some cases.

So I'm not the least bit worried about losing a tax which in no way covers the cost of smoking and the financial and other burdens on the community.

There are highly-successful quit smoking programs but patches and drugs, according to research by the Mayo Clinic, have little effect and in some cases (tranquiliser-type drugs) actually increase smoking rates.

The most effective programs specifically identify the reasons and automatic triggers that precede the urge to smoke, and use modern neurosomatic therapies to "de-condition" or "de-link" these.

The steps are basically:

Recognise the lies and excuses the smoker has been using (eg "we all have to die some time" when in fact smokers as a group die younger and more painfully than the rest of the population, and "I'm not harming anyone but myself" when we now know the tragic effect on children and grandchildren of smokers, as well as the terrible health and economic burdens).

Harm minimisation. If the smoker must smoke, do so in isolation and remove all smoke residue before coming in contact with another human being, directly or indirectly.

Work to identify triggers and de-condition these. (Just throwing out the smokes is a useless act. We have to alter the perceptions of the smoker so that the sight or smell of cigarettes is no longer an automatic cue to smoke.)

Finally we work to prevent others from taking up the habit in the first place and this may include social and political activism to remove cigarette advertising or change laws. This will also include better supervision of children so that they're not congregating in such a way that they can experiment with cigarettes.
 

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Giving up smoking takes courage, determination, and the support of those around you (e.g. spouse, family, and friends). Medications like Zyban can triple your chances of successfully giving up smoking. The daily cost of Zyban therapy is roughly equal to the cost of a pack-per-day smoking habit
 

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Age-Smoker/Non Smoker: 24, non-smoker (but smoked from the age of 16-22)

Would you support an increase in cigarette tax? I think the taxes in Australia are already extremely high but I wouldnt mind to see them rise even further
Why/why not? This would hopefully stop teenagers from getting addicted, simply because they cannot afford buying cigarettes

What do you believe is or would be the most effective way of encouraging smokers to quit? The easiest way is to be part of a group of smokers, that decides to quit together. If it is one person alone, they hardly ever succeed (from my own experience)

Why do you think people take up smoking in the first place? Most begin during their teenage years to be 'cool' and part of the 'in-group'. If they don't smoke, they often get harassed by their peers.

What would be an effective way of discouraging people to take up smoking. I wish I knew...Showing pictures on the packs certainly isnt an ideal way, I hardly know any smoker who cares. There should be a way to make it socially unacceptable, but I honestly dont know how.
 

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Everybody knows that smoking is a bad thing.
However those who smoke knows that stopping it's not as simple as non-smokers usually say.
That doesn't mean that I like smoke on my face, there must be a balance, everyone deserve respect, smokers or not.
 
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