In case you hadn’t heard, cigarettes are getting more expensive in the UAE. Yes, compared to their counterparts in Europe, UAE smokers are able to indulge in their habit for a lot less cash. Still, the days of cheap cigarettes can’t last forever, and last week, we got an idea of what’s planned in terms of tobacco taxation for the coming years.
According to this report from Khaleej Times, the GCC has plans to implement new taxes on 93 commodities by 2018. Cigarettes are included in that list, and Khaleej Times estimated that the tax on tobacco would be 200% – up from the current 100%. If that’s correct, that translates into about AED 15 per pack, instead of AED 10 per pack.
Now, compared to somewhere like the UK, which charges GBP 10 per pack, AED 15 isn’t that bad for 20 cigarettes. But it’s also a big increase from what UAE smokers have become accustomed to.
And in our book, the price increase means there’s more reason than ever to quit. After all, the money-saving argument never really held true in this part of the world, because cigarettes have always been so cheap to buy. But with prices going up, quitting smoking will not only result in better health, but better wealth, too.
To show you what we mean, we’ve worked out how much a 20-a-day smoker who quits will be able to save once the new prices come into effect – and what alternative purchases the smoker could make with that saved cash. Take a look at the numbers below to see why quitting smoking will have a positive effect on your wallet.
One week: 7 packs at AED 15 apiece
Total savings: AED 105
This could pay for: Movie tickets for a family of three
One month: 30 packs at AED 15 apiece
Total savings: AED 450
This could pay for: Your DEWA bill for a month
Two months: 60 packs at AED 15 apiece
Total savings: AED 900
This could pay for: A two-hour return flight
Six months: 180 packs at AED 15 apiece
Total savings: AED 2,700
This could pay for: A new iPhone or iPad
One year: 365 packs at AED 15 apiece
Total savings: AED 5,475
This could pay for: The minimum balance on a high-quality savings account.
Two years: 730 packs at AED 15 apiece
Total savings: AED 10,950
This could pay for: A down-payment on a new car.
Looking at those numbers, what would you do with the money saved from giving up smoking? Let us know in the comments below.