Cigarette Prices in Japan Going Up Next Year.

I don’t smoke myself, but I have a few Japanese friends who do and there’s word on the Japanese blog-sphere that from April next year the price of tobacco is going to rise as a result of the country’s General Consumption Tax rising to 8%.  The big cigarette companies are projecting at the most an increase of 20yen per packet. I’m guessing that a normal packet of cigarettes in Japan contains around 20 to 25 singular cigarettes like they do here. From what I remember of my time on exchange in Japan…

Vending Machine

A packet of cigarettes cost around 300 yen, and you can pretty much buy them from anywhere regardless of how old you are. This is mainly because there were so many vending machines around, which I have talked about in another post before. Judging from the comments that I read on the original article, to a Japanese person 320 yen is probably pretty expensive for a packet of cigarettes. In my home country of Australia, however, it would be a cigarette smoker’s dream come true. Cigarette prices in Australia are rising year after year, as I’m sure they do in any country – but the tax on cigarettes in Australia is deadly. At the very minimum you’re looking at spending around 20 to 25$ on a packet and those are the ones that, according to smokers I’ve talked to, taste like ass. I’m guessing it’s kind of like comparing a bottom-shelf scotch to an aged one, that’s the only way I could ever hope of explaining it or even understanding the standard myself.

I think pretty much anybody who smokes in Australia is an idiot. Not really because they are slowly killing themselves, that’s up to them, but because it’s just so damn costly. If you smoke 2 packets of cigarettes a week you’re looking at around $50 a week. I’m sure there are people who smoke more than that on average but I don’t want to think about it because I just feel sorry for them and their financial loss. If you were a smoker in Japan I suppose I could still kind of understand it because it’s dirt cheap. I’m guessing smoking in Korea is even cheaper because in comparative terms the cost of living in Japan is actually pretty high(obviously not as high as here in Australia though). Can anyone beat 320 yen? Are there any countries around that have cigarettes for less than around $3 a packet? I think I remember someone telling me that they’re unbelievably cheap in Taiwan.

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