All of the campaigns about the dangers of smoking (funded by tobacco companies) have little or no impact on the number of people who smoke or young people taking up smoking. The most effective way to reduce smoking rates is to increase the price of the product. It motivates current smokers to quit an deters new smokers from starting.
Governments around the world should increase tobacco prices. This will discourage usage, either by encouraging current users to quit or discouraging those that might be tempted through the high price point. Those that choose to pay the price in order to smoke will be providing the government with significant tax revenue that can be used for items such as an anti-smoking campaign.
Most states in the USA already tax cigarettes heavily. The amount of tax varies from state to state and city to city but in Chicago where i am from a pack of cigarettes is about $12. I have seen studies that have shown that increasing the price of cigarettes has been effective in lowering the number of young people who smoke/start smoking. For a young person $12 a pack is a lot of money already, not sure what the threshold on price would be where it wouldn't really matter anymore but i can't imagine it's more than $20. An increase to $40 dollars would just punish current smokers. Most regular smokers smoke a pack a day. This would be 13,440 a year!
Nicotine is highly addictive and not easy to quit. Government by making smoking legal has in turn made addicts who they now want to rape financially for smoking? Ironically, smoking is regulated by the FDA now. How the FDA can justify keeping a product on the market that has been proven to kill millions of people a year is quite hypocritical when you consider in other industries they will recall or even shut down companies for one or a few deaths? Lets be honest, the government doesn't really care about our health; if they did they would just make smoking illegal. They don't because the tax revenue is so high.
Taxation in regards to smoking has been shown to be an effective means in reducing the number of smokers. When though does the method of taxation to curb undesirable behavior become too much? Obese people cost taxpayers more than smokers in my opinion. Should we tax people a certain amount for every pound that they are overweight? Would seem fair to me? Considering 60% of Americans are overweight i don't think such a tax would get ratified but it should?
In a socialist government structure it would make sense that the government gear habits to pay for their resulting consequences. However, I strongly disagree about most laws (and taxes) limiting peoples freedoms so long as those freedoms do not affect others. You could argue second hand smoke affects others, but if that's your real issue, then maybe you should just lobby for laws that will directly deter that behavior.
Here is what I mean. Okay, I like fourwheeling, now you know something about me. Fourwheeling increases my risk of getting killed by a fourwheeler and has gained a generally oppressed view because of a mudding problem in my locality. Is it right for the local government to tax me because I'm unpopular? NEVER. Would it be right to make the people responsible for rutting things up fix what they've damaged? YES.
There lies the difference. If you tax smoking because it kills people and its nasty, then I agree with your opinion but respectfully disagree with your action. Curbing usage, is another way of saying that you are forcing your views onto someone else and I don't think that's right.
I understand the idea, that raising prices are going to deter people from smoking. I agree that we need to find ways to get more people to give up smoking. But I don't believe that it is the governments place to step in and regulate these prices. By doing so, they would be interfering with the earnings of private companies. The best thing the government could do is just to ban smoking completely.
If the governments of the world are really interested in curbing tobacco usage, why not just make tobacco illegal like other drugs? At the end of the day the only intention of the government to raise prices is for tax revenue. Governments could care less about your health. It only cares about its own health, its financial health and what revenues it can extract from the tax payer.