Living in Canada and hearing all the complaints about the price of cigarettes and how they’re always going up in price… and the damn government making so much money on it etc, etc, etc…
Well I’m here to give you some good news. The price of cigarettes really hasn’t gone up like you think. But before I get to that let me clarify a couple of things about the taxes the government collects on those smokes of yours, and the cost of smoking.
These numbers are from 2012 so you can imagine the costs have gone up. Smoking costs Canada about 16 Billion dollars a year with 40% of that being direct health care costs. See, in Canada we have universal health care, that means you can walk into a hospital and get treatment with no bill to follow you. Ok, so, 6 to 7 billion dollars a year just for health care.
Smoking and fires? Yup falling a sleep in bed while smoking, tossing that smoke out the window? Yup, that costs about 75 million dollars a year. We can add all kinds of other costs, like sick days missed, early death etc…
So, how much tax money does the Canadian government bring in? Well, about 8 Billion dollars a year. As you can see, not enough to cover the costs that come with smoking.
Ok, my point was that the cost of a pack of cigarettes really hasn’t gone up in 30 years, here’s how I see it. It usually costs one hour of minimum wage to buy a pack of smokes. When I was making 4 bucks an hour back in my younger days I paid about 4 bucks for my smokes. Today a pack is anywhere from 11 to 15 bucks a pack and guess where minimum wage is across the country? I’m sure you can guess.
If you don’t want to pay for smokes quit. I don’t smoke anymore, but I do like to indulge in a drink. If the government taxes that sin to the point that I start complaining, well guess what? I’ll just shut my mouth and quit drinking. I’ll put the money somewhere else.
A final word for ya, if the Canadian Government wanted to break even on the cost of smoking, they would have to charge you $40 a pack, and that’s where Australia is heading. Think about that.