Consumer tax on cigarettes will be raised significantly in April next year, the Czech cabinet decided on Monday. A pack of cigarettes is to cost six crowns more in 2005 and an additional seven crowns in 2006. Economists have estimated that a family in which each parent smokes a pack a day, would find itself spending some 9,500 crowns - or over 350 US dollars - more a year on cigarettes.
If you're one of those who has to light a cigarette within the first thirty minutes after getting out of bed in the morning and if the mere sound of a cigarette being lit instantly improves your mood and makes your heart beat faster, then it's high time for you to visit your local smoking cessation centre. This, according to Czech-born medical psychologist Petr Hajek - one of the world's leading experts on tobacco-dependency research. Dr Hajek, who now resides in the United Kingdom, visited Prague on Thursday to lecture fellow colleagues, the media,
A seminar was held this week in Prague's Centre for Preventive Cardiology, on the effects of tobacco smoking, organised by the Czech Coalition against Tobacco. Delegates at the conference came out with some alarming statistics. For example, 50 people die per day in the Czech Republic from the effects of smoking. A regular smoker shortens his life by 15 years and about a third of the population of the Czech Republic still smokes. I asked Dr Michal Vrablik what are the greatest dangers:
Every year the Czech government looses approximately 3 billion crowns through the sale of unlicensed cigarettes and alcohol. Most of it is sold at outdoor stalls, predominantly by Vietnamese market traders. Despite the fact that the cartons of cigarettes are obviously counterfeit, and there have even been cases of buyers coming home to find their cartons stuffed with cotton wool and nails -the lower price of smuggled cigarettes continues to ensure steady sales. Inspections and police raids have proved ineffective in the long run -since no matter