Smokers were hit with another 10 per cent price hike in taxes on New Year's Day.

That takes 30 grams of tobacco to around $56, while a packet of 20 cigarettes will set you back $22, and for an extra five cigarettes it will cost you $27.

That's a lot of money. You could say that cigarettes have become a high-end commodity.

They are certainly not a necessity in fact these days they are more of a luxury.


The problem is that unlike other high-end items, such as jewellery, cigarettes are addictive and if you are addicted you pay the price.

However, others are also paying the price as these items become targets for thieves selling them on the black market.

Dairy owners around the country are already on edge. I don't know what kind of profit is made on the sale of cigarettes but I do know that you can't put a price on a life.

Perhaps it's time to stop selling them in dairies where there is little security. Leave it to the supermarket chains.

I know it means that supermarkets get the profit but they also have a much better chance of keeping thieves from their doors.

Many local dairies are run by families — is it really worth the risk of having one of your family member traumatised, hurt or worse?

I'm sure there are plenty of smokers out there who are trying their best to stick to New Year's resolutions to quit.

It's not easy and I believe that every smoker would stop today if they could. So good luck to anyone who hasn't had a cigarette this year — remember if you don't feed the monster for long enough, it goes away.