Lower the Australian Tobacco excise!
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Dear Mr Hunt,
The current Tobacco Excise being implemented in Australia has failed to achieve the goal set out in it's inception - lowering rates of smoking nationally. After years of execution, smoking rates have actually increased and thus, this excise now only serves to benefit the governments annual income at the exorbitant financial and social cost of the Australian, the good majority which are already disadvantaged.
Australia is now the most expensive place in the world to purchase cigarettes with the average more than doubling since 2008. As well as this insane price increase for a highly addictive legal substance, Australians have experienced little to no wage growth in this same time period and experienced increased average cost of living and higher volumes of household debt nationwide. To compound the issue, smoking in this country went from acceptable and inexpensive, to unaffordable and restricted virtually over night. Not including thousands of years of usage by indigenous Americans, in the last 200 years of modern society, smoking tobacco has been an acceptable and widely consumed product globally. Due to this fact, it has become deeply ingrained in human culture and attempting to eradicate it swiftly with heavy handed tactics that are ineffective and have to date only achieved in filling the governments coffers at the expense of it's own citizens are doomed to fail.
The Australian people can no longer continue to be exploited by it's own government without challenge. This excise is only one of many instances of the Australian government profiting from the ever increasing disadvantaged among the Australian populous. Australians apathy towards the blatant corrupt practices of our government have allowed this excise to proceed unchallenged to a point of insanity.
The social cost which will result from the continuation of this excise partnered with stagnate wage growth, cost of living, unemployment and ever rising levels of household debt will dwarf the financial reward the government receives. Nicotine is proven to be one of the most addictive substances on Earth. Increasing the price to unsustainable levels, banning smoking from every public place conceivable and pushing the rhetoric of "quit or die" WILL NOT contribute to solving this issue in the slightest. On the contrary, it will create a myriad of further issues. As the cost of cigarettes continues to rise, many average smokers will neglect other basic needs or essential items such as food, shelter, medicine, etc. inevitably leading to an increase in Social Welfare dependance, further increasing Public health costs and an epidemic of further complicated health issues. Crime will increase as the most disadvantaged will turn to theft, distribution of drugs and other severe unlawful behaviour to fund their addiction. An uncontrollable Black Market (worse than the one currently being experienced in this country) will takeover, putting the Australian public at greater health risks from unregulated and poor quality products. It makes our country more vulnerable to terrorists and terrorist attacks, not only due to the fact most government officials such as borderforce and the AFP will be too overloaded trying to monitor, control and prosecute the TAX EVADING tobacco smuggling syndicates that will accompany this black market, but current research concludes much of the profit from black market tobacco funds terrorist cells and other unsavoury ventures.
The time for the government to stop fulfilling its own agenda at the expense of the welfare of it's own citizens is now. If the Government is serious about eradicating smoking, and not just increasing their wealth exponentially, a new strategy must be explored and implemented sooner rather than later. Punishing a portion of your own citizens for being hopelessly addicted to readily available, legal, and a historically accepted product such as tobacco will never achieve eradication, and only contribute to individual burden and rising social problems that are already plaguing this great nation.
WE THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE SUPPORTING THIS PETITION IMPLORE THE GOVERNMENT TO:
- Cap cigarette tax at a reasonable level that reflects the median household income of ALL Australians
- Use percentage of this revenue to contribute to the further study of Nicotine addiction and how to combat it effectively.
- Contribute to further effective and beneficial education of the negative health affects of smoking and the understanding of addiction to young Australians to prevent further increased smoking rates.
- Stop implementing self satisfying Governmental practice and procedure that exploits and impoverishes the Australian public. The apathy of the general public towards this inherent nature within the government is fading...fast.
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