Gorillas and cigarettes

2 Oct

Yesterday (October 1) was 「都民の日」 (“Tokyo Residents’ Day“).
So, schools in Tokyo were closed. My kids had the day off.
Also, 「都民の日」 (“Tokyo Residents’ Day“) is one of the three days every year that the zoos in Tokyo have free admission. So, since a new baby gorilla was recently born in 「上野動物園」 (Ueno Zoo), my wife and daughters went to that zoo yesterday.

They told me that the new baby gorilla (named “Komomo“) is very cute.

Gorillas at Ueno Zoo (top). Mother, Momoko, and new baby Komomo (bottom pic)

Also, yesterday a hefty new cigarette tax went into effect across Japan.
The price of cigarettes just went up 40%! They were ¥300 (about US $3.60) for a pack…now they’re ¥410 (about US $4.95) per pack.

From the day it was announced about a month ago that there would be a 40% increase on tobacco tax on October 1st until one day before the tax took effect, there was a huge increase on sales of cartons of cigarettes all across Japan as smokers stockpiled cigarettes while they were still (relatively) cheap.

The Japanese government’s idea behind this tax hike is to try to motivate more people to quit smoking.

I hope it works. I don’t like cigarettes at all.
If an adult decides to smoke, even with the health dangers being well-known (and warnings printed on cigarette packs), that’s their decision.
But I hate “second-hand smoke”. I don’t smoke so I don’t like inhaling someone else’s “exhaust fumes”.

What do you think? Do you smoke? Do many people smoke in your country? How much do cigarettes cost where you live?

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11 Responses to “Gorillas and cigarettes”

  1. cuteandcurls October 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    tokyo5 :
    >That was in a rural part of Indonesia
    Rural or urban…I’m sure they know that tobacco is bad for your health and no one (especially children) should smoke.

    I absolutely agree with you on that

    Like

    • tokyo5 October 5, 2010 at 12:59 am #

      And some people shouldn’t be parents either.

      Like

  2. pongrocks October 2, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    I tried smoking a few years back, just like everyone does. Didn’t like it, so I stopped 😉 But my father still smokes, even after having a stroke… I just checked the prices… and they are so damn expensive over here in Germany. In 2002 19 cigarettes were 3€ (4.13$) and since 2009 you have to pay as much as 4.70€ (6.48$) for a packet. I think 3/4 of the price are taxes. Anyway, I am not really annoyed by cigarette smoke, cigar smoke is a lot nastier.

    Like

    • tokyo5 October 2, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

      Cigarettes are more expensive in Germany than in Japan, it seems then.

      >cigar smoke is a lot nastier

      Yes, that’s true…but thankfully not many people smoke cigars.

      Like

  3. cuteandcurls October 2, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    I used to smoke alot but for some reason Ive quit..of course not completely ..there are times (like once in a blue moon) I would just light up one then after that it will be a very long time till i prolly grab a stick again…dont know why it does that. its nothing envious either as its also a bad habit. Over where Im from and where I currently live theres alot of smokers. In the UK you still cant stop a person from lighting up just because the tax has been increased ..people still smoke. Over where I am right now, its still the same too a bit increase of tax still doesnt stop them from lighting one up and what I hate the most even if you want to turn a person off from smoking the images on the box doesnt help either.

    At home, cigarettes of any brand is 191 yen whereas here in Malaysia, it cost from 172 yen to 215 yen.

    Like

    • tokyo5 October 2, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

      Wow, cigarettes are so inexpensive there. I’m happy that they’re much more expensive in Japan…encourages people to quit smoking (hopefully).

      You wrote the prices in Japanese currency…for my benefit, I’m sure. What is the currency in Malaysia…and what is the exchange rate with Japanese yen?

      BTW, I remember a story on the news not long ago about a baby that chain-smoked…because his father introduced cigarettes to him.
      It was shocking.
      That was in Malaysia, wasn’t it?

      Like

      • cuteandcurls October 3, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

        I do hope that would encourage people to quit smoking but look at the UK, despite the price hike they still smoke. Yes I did hehehe i hope you dont mind me doing that 🙂 Malaysia’s currency is called Ringgit and the exchange rate at the moment is RM1 = 26.96
        I remember that story too, its a very irresponsible, shameful thing to introduce, so reckless! That was in a rural part of Indonesia

        Like

      • tokyo5 October 4, 2010 at 12:21 am #

        >That was in a rural part of Indonesia

        Rural or urban…I’m sure they know that tobacco is bad for your health and no one (especially children) should smoke.

        Like

  4. tokyo5 October 2, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    I mentioned in this post that October 1st was 「都民の日」 (Tokyo Residents Day) and it was also the day that the steep new cigarette tax took effect.

    I almost forgot another event.
    Every five years, Japan conducts a census of the population. I can’t believe how time flies…it’s already been five years since the last census!
    Yesterday (October 1) the 2010 census commenced in Japan.

    If you live in Japan, you’ll receive a census form (if you haven’t received it already). Even non-Japanese residents in Japan are requested to fill it out and submit it.

    Like

  5. Rachael October 2, 2010 at 6:04 am #

    I live in Los Angeles and smoking here has become a serious taboo. I LOVE IT because I am so deathly allergic to cigarette smoke. It even caused me to go home on an emergency flight back to the states when I was visiting Sydney in 2003, just when no smoking laws were creeping into effect. One of my housemates refused to stop smoking in his bedroom, and the smoke was trapped up in my room (above his). It was gross.
    I’m glad the Japanese government is taking this stand ~ smoking is actually one of the main reasons why I haven’t saved my pennies for a trip to Tokyo.

    Like

    • tokyo5 October 2, 2010 at 10:49 am #

      >It even caused me to go home on an emergency flight back to the states when I was visiting Sydney

      Wow. It must be a serious thing for you. I don’t like cigarette smoke but it doesn’t bother me that much.

      When I first came to Japan in 1990, there were very few “no smoking” places. Thankfully, there are less and less places that allow smoking in Japan now.

      Like

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