Hike Prices Of Cigarettes To Curb Addiction

Bandar Seri Begawan – Increasing the price of cigarettes would persuade smokers to kick the habit for good, which is more effective than the Tobacco Order 2005 which came into force over a year ago, according to a number of smokers interviewed by The Brunei Times.

A 40-year-old government servant who opted for anonymity said that people were still smoking despite the ban on smoking in public places as entailed in the order. You can still see lots of people taking up the habit,” he said.

He said that the reason why people have not quit smoking as of yet was because of the low price of cigarettes in Brunei.

Increasing The Price Of Cigarettes Might Encourage Smokers To Think Twice Before Lighting Up

Increasing The Price Of Cigarettes Might Encourage Smokers To Think Twice Before Lighting Up

“Cigarettes are not expensive at all in Brunei, you can get three packets just under $10 compared to most countries that charge above $6,” he said.

When asked whether he intends to quit smoking completely, he said that he has already started slowly.

“But if you ask me again, after Brunei has decided to increase the price of cigarettes to say, $5, I will certainly quit,” he said.

A woman working in the private sector said that she did not plan on quitting anytime soon but has certainly reduced the number of cigarettes she has per day. “The enforcement is not strong enough,” the 28-year-old said. “To be honest, I think the relevant authorities should have thought about hiking up the prices of cigarettes to discourage people from smoking,” she said.

She added that banning people from smoking in public places was not the ideal plan to curb the smokers’ addiction and that it was a slow process that needed careful planning. “Im a smoker, I know. The more you tell us to stop, the more we’re going to keep doing it,” she said.

Make them more expensive, then maybe we can look into a more healthier population, she added.

Another women officer working in the education sector said that the enforcement worked in the beginning, but is not as effective now. As far as smoking indoors, there has been a real change, but because of that, you see an even bigger crowd smoking out in the open which is really not good for the environment,” she said.

She also has decided to quit smoking, due to health reasons.

A former student who only wants to be known as Arip said that he has been smoking since he was 16 and plans to cut down.

When asked whether it was easy for him to obtain cigarettes at the nearest vendor, the 18-year-old said it was not. “When I was 16 and trying to get cigarettes, it was really hard because of the ban, but now they ask you whether you are above 18 years, so in a way, the ban really does work,” he said.

source: www.brudirect.com

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