Friday, September 12, 2008

Light Up A Cigarette Only If It Bears 'SDPC'

From next month, the world will see a small country like Singapore marking it's every stick of cigarette bought in Singapore. A first in the world, it is to distinguish itself from it's contraband counterpart. All cigarettes bought in Singapore must have it's duty paid. Each stick will mark a SDPC that stands for Singapore Duty Paid Cigarettes, near to the filter end. This is to prevent smugglers who evade tax of $7.04 for each packet of cigarettes and selling it to smokers in Singapore. Since last October, a fine of $500 fine is charged to smokers if they are caught with a pack of these cigarettes. To avoid these fines, some smokers stuff them into legitimate cigarette packs and pass if off as duty paid cigarettes. In the mid of July this year, as many as 284 contraband buyers were nabbed just in two weeks for having possesion of contraband cigarettes.

With the regulation in force by next month, smokers will find themselves hard to get contraband cigarettes as they do not have these marks of duty paid. Tobacco companies had been unhappy at poor business since smokers prefer to buy contraband cigarettes. In Singapore the expensive high duty of $7.04 per pack of cigarettes has spiralled costs of a pack of to almost $12, compared with $5.80 just a decade ago.

Some smokers may find themselves having to cut down on smoking, which of course will be a good habit towards a healthy lifestyle. Some have voiced out about how uncomfortable he would be by having plain clothes nabbers staring at his stick of cigarettes just to check if it bears the SDPC.

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