Maybe it's time to quit.
Minister of Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat announced during Singapore Budget 2018 that cigarette prices in Singapore will increase by 10% and new Singapore cigarette prices will take effect immediately.
Singapore cigarette prices are already considered to be one of the most expensive in the world. With the recent announcement, it further cements this fact.
However, Singapore cigarette prices are NOT that bad compared to some countries. For example, a pack of Marlboro red on average in Australia costs as much as AU$30, which is S$31.20. In Singapore, a pack currently costs S$13. Even with the 10% increase, that’s still double!
Of course, our neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia sell their cigarettes at a fraction of the price compared to Singapore. But compared to other first world countries, Singapore cigarette prices don’t look TOO bad.
Here are Singapore cigarette prices compared to that of other countries:
Average price of Marlboro Reds around the world
|Melbourne, Australia||AU$30 (approx. S$31.20)|
|Auckland, New Zealand||NZ$27 (approx. S$26.10)|
|Dublin, Ireland||€12 (approx. S$19.50)|
|Oslo, Norway||KR115 (approx. S$19.39)|
|New York, USA||US$14 (approx. S$18.41)|
|London, United Kingdom||£10 (approx. S$18.40)|
|Singapore||S$13 (after 10% increase, S$14.30)|
|Toronto, Canada||C$13 (approx. S$13.50)|
|Tel Aviv, Israel||36 ₪ (approx. S$13.50)|
|Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||RM17 (approx. S$5.75)|
|Jakarta, Indonesia||RP23,069 (approx. S$2)|
Perhaps the new pricing scheme would make some consider quitting the vice, as it leaves a larger dent on their bank accounts.
It has been the agenda of the Singapore government to encourage its citizens to quit smoking for years now. Many campaigns have been launched by the Health Promotion Board to support Singaporeans in their journey to quit smoking.
One method to deter smokers is the rising Singapore cigarette prices, that have been on the uptrend for the past 20 years.
In 1998, Singapore cigarette prices were around S$5.50 per pack. It doubled to S$11 in 2005 up until 2012, then went up to S$13 per pack.
The percentage of smokers in Singapore in the 1970s were at about 26%. It dropped to 14% in 2010 and plateaued around 13.3% in 2013.
It seems that the rise in Singapore cigarette prices could be one of the correlating factors for the drop in percentage of smokers.
We can only hope that this move will continue to bring down that percentage further, for a healthier Singapore.
What do you think of this move by the Singapore government on raising Singapore cigarette prices? Let us know in the comments.
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