Minimum cigarette price ruling receives mixed reactions

KOTA KINABALU: The government’s latest ruling of imposing a minimum price of RM6.40 for a 20-pack cigarette received mixed reactions from the public, including smokers.

A survey showed that the hike in cigarette price was not an appropriate move by the Health Ministry to encourage people to stop smoking.

Stubborn smokers who have been addicted to cigarettes would not stop as they are willing to spend their money on cigarettes even if the price was higher.

“Increasing the price of cigarettes would not deter smokers. Whatever it is, I appreciate the government’s move to enforce the hike on cigarette price; at least it would create an awareness among smokers,” said Firdaus Jenar from Likas.

Firdaus, 28 suggested that the government set a quota on cigarette production in Malaysia so as to reduce the quantity of cigarettes sold in the market before they enforce the hike.

He was commenting on the government’s move to enforce cigarette price by Jan 1, with the cheapest cigarette costing RM6.40 per pack of 20’s.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai recently said this was under the Tobacco Products Control Regulations gazetted by the ministry that would also see promotions for cigarettes being prohibited.

He said the new regulations would set the minimum retail price for a stick of cigarette at 32 sen.

Meanwhile Abdul Hamid Sabal who lauds the government’s effort to enforce cigarette price said at least the people would be aware of the dangers of smoking.

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