Generally I think it’s fair to say that looking from the outside, in, Australians are considered a fairly healthy bunch of people.
It’s not all about the toned surfers and gym freaks though. There’s still an unhealthy side to Aussie life.
If you’re a smoker considering a move to Australia then you might be interested to know that Australia is actually one of the most expensive homes of cigarette smokers in the world, an accolade unlikely to change after a further increase in tobacco duty was announced this week.
The size of the hike? A hefty 12.5 % which comes into effect on the 31st December this year. Not only that, further increases will occur on 1 September 2014, 1 September 2015, and 1 September 2016. The tax hike is in addition to increases that would have occurred through indexation.
According to research from the World Health Organisation 19 % of males and 16% of Australian females smoke Cigarettes so the increase in costs will bite pretty hard for many Aussies.
On the flip side, for non-smokers, the increase in the cost of cigarettes will raise plenty of juicy revenue for the Australian government. Over $5 Billion dollars in fact!
Globally, Australia now ranks towards the top on most measurements of cigarette prices, usually behind Norway. The World Tobacco Atlas measured cost per pack in 2012, and put Australia as the second most expensive in the world.
A certain amount of these global comparisons can still be put down to a strong Australian dollar, which is why it’s important to look at additional measurements to determine the relative affordability of cigarettes.
Australia’s average income and GDP is also higher than many countries, so on average we Aussies are better able to afford higher-priced goods.
The Tobacco Atlas’s relative income to price list puts Australia 129th out of 168, with a lower result meaning cigarettes are relatively cheaper with regards to earnings.
Another analysis, by Morgan Stanley, of minutes of work required to buy a pack of cigarettes, put us just below the average of 30 minutes. So, in terms of affordability, our cigarettes are actually more affordable than average.
Still, if you’re moving to Australia into a role where you’re earning a similar salary to that paid in your home country. Expect a decent jump in prices.
Perhaps now’s a good time to stop?