Ciggy-hoarding smokers boost Japan's economy
Yusuke Sato says a man walked into his tobacco store in Atsugi, southwest of Tokyo, this month and bought 100 cartons of Mild Seven cigarettes. While they may not be good for his health, he may have saved about $1360.
The man is one of thousands of smokers across Japan stocking up before October 1 to beat a record 40 per cent tax increase on tobacco. Their hoarding may add as much as 1.4 percentage points to this quarter's annualised economic growth rate, according to estimates from the Japan Research Institute.
"We were afraid we would run out of stock," said Sato, who started taking reservations for cartons last month. "Thirty cartons has been the norm." Next month, customers would pay 110,000 yen ($1358.50) more for the same 20,000-cigarette order after the price of a pack of 20 jumps by a third, he said.
(The Sydney Morning Herald. September 28, 2010.)