Wednesday December 19, 2018
Home Opinion Big tobacco a...

Big tobacco addicted consumers: How much money does a cigarette cost?

0
//
Republish
Reprint

By Meghna

11913113_983523475001827_945731158_nThat cigarette you are holding in your hand, have you ever wondered how much is it worth? You’re probably going to say Rs. 12 or Rs. 13, but, it is going to cost you a lot more. You might want to rethink about smoking that cigarette.

In 2012, one cigarette cost Rs. 7 to the consumer and the cost of manufacturing that very cigarette was as low as 59 paise! This amounts to roughly 8.42 % of the price paid by the consumer.

Presently, while the consumer pays approximately Rs. 12-13 for one cigarette stick, the cost of manufacturing would lie approximately between Re. 1 to Rs. 3. Even after you add taxes and other logistical charges, the profit margin remains huge.

The cigarette market of India is mostly dominated by the corporate giant ITC. It is one of the most profitable industries and rakes in huge profits each year owing to the huge margins with the tax-evaded money so diligently paid by the smokers.

Cigarettes can quite literally burn a hole in one’s pocket. 

In addition to tobacco being an excessively addictive substance, the brands too have enticed the unassuming consumer and have lured them into smoking.

There was a time when the image of Marlboro man was so deeply engrained in the minds of the general public that reportedly ‘Life’ magazine ran a full double page advertisement with an image of the Marlboro man without any caption and yet the people could recognize the advertisement and the image.

2816386656_29992063ba_b

It is also a fact that four of the models who were part of the ‘Marlboro Man’ ad campaign died of smoking-induced diseases. Even that couldn’t hurt the brand value.

Cigarettes are omnipresent. Be it in the hands of handsome cowboy models or your favorite cartoon characters and at a subconscious level, these advertisements can be potent enough to make you think about it or create a positive notion about smoking.

In India, there is a ban on advertising of cigarettes and the advertising can only be done at the points of purchase, i.e by the shops selling cigarettes.

Tobacco – A lucrative industry

India is home to 25 million cigarette smokers, 100 million beedi smokers and 120 million users of smokeless tobacco. Such huge numbers of tobacco users make India the second largest tobacco consumer in the world, though India accounts for only 8% of the total tobacco produced world over.

Chewing tobacco and beedis are highly addictive and contain high amounts of carcinogens (cancer causing substances). High percentages of consumers make this industry highly lucrative. To meet the high demands and to ensure an adequate supply, the industry hires a large work force also.

Tobacco industry directly or indirectly involves 7 million workers and has a direct impact on Indian economy. In addition to this, it earns US $900 million of foreign exchange. Thus, any ban or restriction imposed on this industry will not only affect the workforce, but will also have a grave impact on the annual revenue generated by the country.

Tobacco Industry and Cancer health Industry- diametrically opposite ends of a vicious circle

It is a known fact that tobacco consumption causes cancer. This information is not just available on the tobacco products but is also conveyed through commercials, ads and what not.

Despite this, the tobacco consumption hasn’t decreased.

According to a report published in the National Journal of Medical Research, between the years 2002-03, India spent approximately Rs 300 billion (US$ 6.2 billion) on the treatment of tobacco-related illnesses.

Another report states that in the year 2011, the public spent Rs. 16,800 crores on treatment of tobacco-related illnesses. This was 1.6 per cent of the 2011’s GDP and is 12 per cent more than the combined expenditure on health made by states and Central government in the same year.


source: tradingeconomics.com

The tobacco industry is huge all across the world. In fact, the annual revenue generated by it is more than the per capita income of most of the African countries. The total revenue of China National Tobacco (CNT) – the world’s richest tobacco products company, was more than US $91 billion.

On the other hand, GDP of Namibia for the year 2014 was only $13.3 billion which is roughly 1/7th of CNT’s total revenue.

Smoking is a serious problem which needs to be tackled. In a time where tobacco companies earn more than nations, tackling the issue becomes exceedingly difficult. The fact remains that the number of people affected by smoking/tobacco consumption related diseases won’t come down as long as these products are readily available and easily accessible by the people.

cigarette-110849_1280

It is a vicious circle as cancer health industry is fuelled by the tobacco industry. A smoker first spends a considerable amount on tobacco products and then he/she spends a fortune on treatment of tobacco-related disease.

So each time you light a cigarette, you burn away not just a chunk of your money, but also your life.

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Drug Use Among Teens Down in The U.S. But Vaping Still On The Rise

The vaping explosion is a big worry, however. Health officials say nicotine is harmful to developing brains.

0
e-cigarette
In this April 11, 2018, photo, an unidentified 15-year-old high school student uses a vaping device near the school's campus in Cambridge, Mass. Health and education officials across the country are raising alarms over wide underage use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The devices heat liquid into an inhalable vapor that's sold in sugary flavors like mango and mint — and often with the addictive drug nicotine. VOA

Twice as many high school students used nicotine-tinged electronic cigarettes this year compared with last year, an unprecedented jump in a large annual survey of teen smoking, drinking and drug use.

It was the largest single-year increase in the survey’s 44-year history, far surpassing a mid-1970s surge in marijuana smoking.

The findings, released Monday, echo those of a government survey earlier this year. That survey also found a dramatic rise in vaping among children and prompted federal regulators to press for measures that make it harder for kids to get them.

Experts attribute the jump to newer versions of e-cigarettes, like those by Juul Labs Inc. that resemble computer flash drives and can be used discreetly.

e-cigarette, cigarettes
Customers puff on e-cigarettes at the Henley Vaporium in New York City. VOA

Trina Hale, a junior at South Charleston High School in West Virginia, said vaping — specifically Juul — exploded at her school this year.

“They can put it in their sleeve or their pocket. They can do it wherever, whenever. They can do it in class if they’re sneaky about it,” she said.

Olivia Turman, a freshman at Cabell Midland High School in Ona, West Virginia, said she too has seen kids “hit their vape in class.”

The federally funded survey released Monday is conducted by University of Michigan researchers and has been operating since 1975. This year’s findings are based on responses from about 45,000 students in grades 8, 10 and 12 in schools across the country. It found 1 in 5 high school seniors reported having vaped nicotine in the previous month.

After vaping and alcohol, the most common thing teens use is marijuana, the survey found. About 1 in 4 students said they’d used marijuana at least once in the past year. It was more common in older kids — about 1 in 17 high school seniors said they use marijuana every day.

Vaping, teeth,e-cigarette, cigarettes
Nicotine vaping on rise among US teenagers: Survey. Pixabay

Overall, marijuana smoking is about the same level as it was the past few years. Vaping of marijuana rose, however.

More teens, however, are saying no to lots of other substances. Usage of alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, heroin and opioid pills all declined.

Experts say it’s not clear what’s behind those trends, especially since the nation is in the midst of the deadliest drug overdose epidemic ever.

“What is it that we’re doing right with teenagers that we’re not doing with adults?” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a federal agency that funds the Michigan study.

One leading theory is that kids today are staying home and communicating on smartphones rather than hanging out and smoking, drinking or trying drugs.

Vaping, teeth,e-cigarette, cigarettes
In this Feb. 20, 2014 file photo, a customer exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at a store in New York. A growing number of e-cigarette and vaporizer sellers have started offering college scholarships as a way to get their brands listed on university websites. VOA

“Drug experimentation is a group activity,” Volkow said.

What about vaping? “Vaping mostly is an individual activity,” said David Jernigan, a Boston University researcher who tracks alcohol use.

The vaping explosion is a big worry, however. Health officials say nicotine is harmful to developing brains. Some researchers also believe vaping will make kids more likely to take up cigarettes, and perhaps later try other drugs.

Also Read: New Survey Shows Rise of Nicotine Vaping Among US Teenagers

So far that hasn’t happened, surveys show. But the Juul phenomenon is recent, noted Richard Miech, who oversees the Michigan survey.

If vaping does lead to cigarette use among teens, that may start to show up in the survey as early as next year, he added. (VOA)