Seventy sen more for a packet of cigarettes. So what has this move done since it was implemented earlier this month? Has it got a lot of people to give up this evil, unhealthy and deadly habit? Or is it just earning the government more money?
Our contention, from years of studying the issue, is that 70sen more is not going to make any difference to the pocket of the smoker. It will, of course, earn more for those little shops in every neighbourhood that sell cigarettes out of the pack – one or two or more to the “occasional” smokers, and to the schoolchildren as well, who these days can be spotted smoking even in neighbourhood parks, and in their school uniforms too!
Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is deeply concerned that alcoholic soft drinks have once again flooded our markets under the guise of soft drinks.
While the law clearly states that alcoholic beverages are prohibited for those below the age of 18, these drinks are being sold to school children without restraint in supermarkets and 24 hour outlets.
The recent 20 sen increase in each kilo of sugar means that the government will still end up subsidising a sinful sum of RM1 billion in 2010, based on a subsidy of 80 sen per kilogram. Malaysians consume an average of 26 teaspoons of sugar per day. This sweet indulgence has resulted in nearly 1.2 million Malaysians with diabetes, more than 98% with Type 2 diabetes, which is strongly linked to high sugar consumption.
The humble bicycle could be a key to our long-term survival — in terms of health, environment and economics. CAP’s research shows that reviving bicycle use here would benefit both the nation and the people. Here’s the evidence for health.