The ‘Sin’ Tax is ruining my life, possibly saving it

The 'Sin' Tax makes me sad.

The ‘Sin’ Tax makes me sad.

Since the government raised tariffs on cigarettes and alcohol, it has become increasingly difficult to get my nicotine fix.

Even before the so-called sin tax on vices was raised, street prices, like my finances, had been unstable. Some sidewalk vendors were selling cigarettes at P4.00 a stick, citing a law that I knew had yet to take effect. The problem, they said, was that distributors were hoarding their supplies until prices rose.

With the law now in effect, half a pack of my brand costs about as much as a whole pack used to. I’ve tried to get by with other, cheaper brands but I’ve found that I either smoke more–I went through two packs in one day–or spend the night coughing because of the rough tobacco. In either case, I get no satisfaction from smoking. It sometimes feels like I am just going through the motions.

Having come into some money (emphasis on some, and not so much on money), I bought myself a pack of my brand. This was, I told myself, the moment I had been waiting for all week. I took a drag, expecting the dizzy high that always comes after being deprived of my brand for more than 12 hours. And then I got nothing.

Smoking does nothing for me anymore. Which is a good thing in the long run, but makes me short tempered in the short term. Well done, government of the Republic of the Philippines! Property damage and a few bruises are a small price to pay for making one of your citizens a little less prone to cancer and emphysema and all those other diseases on that poster at the train station.

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