Smoking statistics from the ABS’ latest national accounts show an increase in tobacco expenditure for the last four consecutive quarters since December 2016. A year on year increase of 2.6% in December 2017 equals a $4bn spend or a huge $16bn spend on tobacco products for the year.
These figures don’t take into account the additional spend on illegal black market tobacco or nicotine products such as NRT and electronic cigarettes, so the true spend on nicotine addiction is even greater. This is good news for the nicotine peddling tobacco companies and pharmaceuticals but bad news for nicotine addicts.
So given the move to plain packaging, the extortionate cost, the constant advertising about the harmful effects of smoking and the government subsidised so called quit methods of NRT and Champix (with success rates of less than 10%!), why is smoking still so prevalent in Australia?
Simple. Every one of these approaches reinforces the message about the negatives of smoking, but not one of them highlights the fact that smoking is pointless.
If cigarettes were free, if smoking didn’t kill you and if it didn’t smell and taste foul, I still wouldn’t do it.
Why? Because there’s absolutely no point! None whatsoever.
Putting out a cigarette creates an empty insecure feeling that we know as nicotine withdrawal, and lighting another cigarette temporarily relieves it. That’s it. That’s all you get for spending your hard- earned money and risking a lifetime of ill health, coughing, wheezing and slavery. You couldn’t get a more pointless drug.
So it doesn’t surprise me that the smoking statistics indicate that tobacco spend in Australia is on the increase because if we continue to miss the real point, the point that smoking provides absolutely no benefits whatsoever, poor smokers remain misguided and deluded and will continue to contribute to the tobacco companies and pharmaceuticals profits.