Smoker fuming over $200 a week tax-laden bill
ALAN Cranston has been smoking since he was 14, and he has no intention of quitting.
In fact, the second in charge at The Tobacco Station said smokers are being victimised by the Federal Government, which this week put forward a bill to increase tax on tobacco.
Alan said previous tax increases are already causing problems for their business.
"Due to constant tax increases… the boss has said if it keeps going up he is not going to be able to afford wages to keep us employed," he said.
"In my opinion, we're getting victimised… it's just affecting our life and well-being.
"I can smoke if I want to, that's my choice. My grandfather fought and died in the Second World War for that."
When he first started smoking, Alan said he was paying around $20 a week for cigarettes, lights and accessories. Now he said he pays over $200 for the seven packs of cigarettes he smokes a week.
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He said obesity and alcohol-related violence put much more pressure on the health care system than smoking.
"They're trying to pick on us smokers when we're not the ones overloading the system."
Despite prominent health risks, including cancer, emphysema, heart disease and premature ageing, 32-year-old Alan said he thought he was a healthy guy.
"In all honesty, I don't believe it's affecting my health, whatsoever," he said.
"I still run after my daughter, I still ride my push bike, I still get out and do a lot of heavy work all the time."
After starting a petition to stop tax increases on tobacco, Alan has over 1400 signatures, and is planning to lodge the petition next month.