• Kyodo


About 90 percent of smokers — including heavy smokers — said they would consider quitting if the price of a pack of cigarettes reached as high as 1,000 yen, according to a survey released Monday.

On the other hand, the heavy smokers among the roughly 600 people surveyed would not be inspired to quit by warnings about health risks or fines for smoking in public places.

The survey was conducted by a team of researchers led by Takanori Ida, a professor of applied economics in the Kyoto University graduate school.

A pack of cigarettes generally costs about 300 yen, depending on the brand.

“Raising cigarette prices by not small but large margins would be effective to inspire people to quit smoking,” Ida said.

He said the more smokers are dependent on nicotine, the higher the priority they tend to put on price.

The survey results indicate that raising the alarm about the health risk is somewhat effective in getting those who are not heavy smokers to consider quitting.

But heavy smokers were unmoved by health risks or fines.

And yet half of them said they would quit if the price of a pack of cigarettes were more than 700 yen and 90 percent said they would do so if it was 1,000 yen.

Higher prices were also found to inspire lighter smokers to quit.

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