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Thai tobacco maker plans cheap cigarettes to offset new tax

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Thai tobacco maker plans cheap cigarettes to offset new tax
NATTASUDA ANUSONADISAI, Associated Press
GRANT PECK, Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's state tobacco company said Saturday that it would launch a new, cheaper brand of cigarettes to keep smokers from rolling their own or buying illegally imported untaxed ones due to higher prices from a recently imposed tax hike.

The plan announced by the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly was denounced by anti-smoking activists who just weeks ago applauded the tax hike as a useful deterrent to smoking.

Daonoi Suttiniphapunt, director of Thailand Tobacco Monopoly, said the new brand, which will be slightly smaller in diameter than standard brands, will cost about 40 baht ($1.12) a pack and be launched on April 1. Other brands now range from about 48 to 130 baht ($1.34 to $3.64) a pack, she said.

"We are concerned that smokers will choose other alternatives that will severely harm their bodies, such as low-quality hand-rolling tobacco," she said in a telephone interview. "They don't use good quality material, they use no filters and there is a lot more residue. ... They might put filters in, but in the process ... there is usually more residue such as tar and nicotine than in legal cigarettes."

According to Daonoi, there are 10.5 to 11 million smokers in Thailand.

"Those who have financial limitations, they will go to cheaper and low-quality products because they have no choice," she said. "Quitting cigarettes is not easy."

Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo, a program director for the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, scoffed at the reasoning for producing cheaper cigarettes.

"All tobacco products are harmful to health regardless of their form or source, whether roll-your-own or manufactured cigarettes, whether legal or illicit," he said in an email. "It is a farce to believe that tobacco companies are interested in protecting the health of smokers by promoting the access and use of cheap legal cigarettes."

"Producing cheap cigarettes that are affordable to the poor and the young is a strategy common to all tobacco manufacturers, whether private or state-owned, to keep tobacco products affordable in order to keep poor people addicted, entice young people to start smoking, and ultimately to maintain industry profits," he said.

His organization previously praised Thai authorities for increasing the price of domestically produced cigarettes this month by 5 to 10 baht (14 to 28 cents), saying it was a good example of trying to improve public health through tax policy.

TTM's Daonoi said that after the recent tax hike of about 3 percent, tobacco sales fell and the market size shrank by more than 2 percent.

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-- (c) Associated Press 2016-02-29

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"We are concerned that smokers will choose other alternatives that will severely harm their bodies"

Good to see that the tobacco companies are looking out for the health of their customers and not thinking about themselves. But I've always said, if you're going to kill yourself you might as well do it cheaply.

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"We are concerned that smokers will choose other alternatives that will severely harm their bodies" ........

You are so pathetic...............bah.gif

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Disgusting blight on governments around the world who let the tobacco industry keep pushing their products, blatantly showing no regard for the health of those already hooked to inducing the younger generation to a life of addiction, Knowledge means nothing if you don't act , Sadly no positive action taken here ,

hang your head in shame shame Daonoi ,

Thai youth vs money, I will take the money ,

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The only health the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly is concerned about is the health of their profits.

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I totaly disagree with the idea of making cheap as many school age children are buying it if the price cheap in some country a box goes up as 5 USD.

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Oh, by the way, everyone knows the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly is a state-owned enterprise, right? It's a great little revenue generator for the government, both in sales and being a tax cow.

The govt is so hypocritical in raising tax on cigarettes to reduce consumption while at the same time producing a new brand to raise (or at least maintain) cigarette consumption through its state enterprise called the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly.

List of Thailand Government State owned Agencies

http://www2.mof.go.th/state_enterprises.htm

post-55970-0-65864400-1456706606_thumb.j

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Disgusting. The amount of money lost by less people smoking would be more than offset by the savings in health care.

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The only thing Thai Tobacco is concerned about is falling profits and loosing customers. Got to make it cheaper for the next generation of customers. One of the things that help me quit WAS the high price of cigarettes in Hawaii.

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Thailand's state tobacco company said Saturday that it would launch a new, cheaper brand of cigarettes

This is so wrong on at least two counts:

- The Thailand Tobacco Monopoly is a state enterprise which manufactures and distributes tobacco products. The state knowingly produces a harmful unhealthy and deadly product! Yet it pretends to attempt to reduce Thai smoking habits. In reality the national cost of healthcare for tobacco related illnesses and deaths outweigh the tax revenues it receives, part of which fund the state's anti-smoking campaigns!

- Launching a cheaper brand of cigarettes will attract more smokers who are likely young people and increase smoking among adults. The state thereby will contribute to greater tobacco illnesses and deaths.

This is a flawed policy. It's akin to defending against illegal firearms by making cheaper firearms available. The state should be putting its funds towards better law enforcement and prosecution.

But what's the profit in that? wai2.gif

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The only thing Thai Tobacco is concerned about is falling profits and loosing customers. Got to make it cheaper for the next generation of customers. One of the things that help me quit WAS the high price of cigarettes in Hawaii.

You were high on Hawaii?.....thumbsup.gif

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I totaly disagree with the idea of making cheap as many school age children are buying it if the price cheap in some country a box goes up as 5 USD.

In Germany 5 Euros...around 200 baht a pack.

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I totaly disagree with the idea of making cheap as many school age children are buying it if the price cheap in some country a box goes up as 5 USD.

In Germany 5 Euros...around 200 baht a pack.

That is cheap. In the UK reckon on around nine pounds for a pack of 20 (450THB). As a result cigarette smuggling is rampant in the UK.

I would increase the price to twenty pounds for a pack of 20, (1000THB) and ration smokers to four packs a week. The same should be done in Thailand.

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I totaly disagree with the idea of making cheap as many school age children are buying it if the price cheap in some country a box goes up as 5 USD.

In Germany 5 Euros...around 200 baht a pack.

You should see the price of a pack in the UK http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=255732198 £9.55 from a supermarket, which is usually cheaper than a corner shop or vending machine.

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