Red Brick Daily

Raising taxes on cigarettes is a measure used by many nations to ‘encourage’ smokers to quit. It is generally effective, with every tax increase driving a percentage of tobacco enthusiasts to give up the habit.

But in many places, including Taiwan, every tax rise also equals a rise in cigarette smuggling.

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The Central News Agency has more:

“A shipment of smuggled cigarettes valued at around NT$20 million (US$662,669) was seized at Kaohsiung port Tuesday, (October 17, 2017) … The cigarettes, said to be the popular Feng brand, arrived in a 40-foot shipping container from Singapore …

It was the third shipment of smuggled cigarettes seized at the southern port since October 12 … According to Kaohsiung Customs, smuggling rings are probably taking higher risks because the Taiwan government raised the cigarette tax in June, which has increased retail prices by NT$20 per pack.” 

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Some argue smuggled, ‘fake’ cigarettes pose a bigger danger to health … and the government should focus on education about the dangers of smoking rather than raising taxes on smokers. What do you think?