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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Japan hikes taxes on cigarettes to curb smoking

Japan has this month just imposed a record 40 percent tax hike on cigarettes in a bid to curb the nation's smoking rate which is the highest among major industrialized nations. In Japan approximately 36.6% of men smoke and 12.1% of women smoke. The price rise will increase the price of Japan's most popular brand, Mild Seven, by a third to 410 yen or USD$4.93 a pack.

In the weeks leading up to the tax increase, smokers across Japan stocked up on their favourite cigarettes with many of my smoker friends purchasing a years worth of cigarettes to bet the price rise.

Smoking is still allowed in most public places in Japan, but authorities have tried to discourage smoking in public areas such as airports, train stations and government buildings. A lot of places in Japan now have designated smoking rooms with most Japanese smokers complying.

Sourced from The Associated Press Japan 2010

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