Online poll: Few say they will quit smoking because of higher prices

The recent $2.10 increase in government import duty on a pack of 20 cigarettes will prompt less than 6 per cent of respondents to last week’s online poll who are smokers to quit. 

However, of poll respondents who indicated they lived in the Cayman Islands, 407 – nearly 75 per cent – said they had already quit or never smoked. 

The largest segment of 575 total respondents – 291 people or 50.6 per cent – said they never smoked.  

“I never smoked, but my late husband did – dieing from cancer for two years is not pretty. He went from a healthy, handsome man of 200 pounds to a rack of bones just over 100 pounds. Stop and think! Be healthy and save money – sounds like a win-win to me,” said one person. 

“Such an increase will probably increase the black market demand,” said someone else. 

“I welcome the tax,” said another person. 

“Disgusting habit,” said one person. “Everyone should be forced to quit or be imprisoned.” 

“Hopefully the price hike will cause some smokers to quit this deadly habit,” said another respondent. 

“Do whatever it takes to get folks to quit,” said someone else. 

The next largest segment of respondents – 116 people or 20.1 per cent – said they had already quit smoking.  

“I for one am glad they are imposing this duty,” said one person. “Maybe it will be less smokey in the so-called cigar bars.” 

“They should raise the duty so cigarettes are $10 a pack,” said someone else. 

Sixty-two respondents who smoked said they’d just pay the higher price. 

“I live in the UK; try paying eight pounds a pack,” said one person.  

“As much as I don’t enjoy the thought of giving [Premier McKeeva] Bush another cent of pocket money, I am not going to stop my one sin just because of him,” said someone else.  

“Cigarettes still cost way more back home so they are still dirt cheap compared to what I am used to paying.” 

Forty people – 7 per cent – said they would cut down on their amount of smoking. “I don’t see how merchants can increase the price the day import duties came into effect,” said one person. “That was an illegal 
move by merchants.” 

Only 34 people – 5.9 per cent – said they would quit smoking because of the increase in import duty. None left comments. 

Another 32 respondents – 5.6 per cent – said they didn’t live in the Cayman Islands. 

“I get a carton at the Miami duty free and don’t buy cigarettes while in Cayman,” said one person. 


Next week’s poll question 

How can stingrays be better protected in Cayman? 

Expand the protected areas of where it is illegal to remove stingrays. 

Pass the National Conservation Law to make it illegal to take stingrays from anywhere. 

Expand the Marine Conservation Law to make it illegal to take stingrays from anywhere. 

Keep the status quo; it’s already illegal to take them from certain areas. 

They don’t need any protection.

online poll


  1. I don’t smoke but my friends who do bemoan the high cost and say they wish Health Services would offer nicotine gum. They say the patches don’t work. Perhaps this could be tried as it would certainly cut down on the number of cigarettes needed per day.

  2. I have no problem with people who are prepared to pay ever higher taxes on their tobacco products, as long as a proper proportion of the taxes go to the health services. That is their affair.
    However, higher taxes (imposed in whatever form) to pay for the nonsense projects of politicians is another matter altogether.

  3. Another way to read it, out of the 136 responding on island who smoke, 54.41% will change their smoking habits with 25% saying they will quit. That’s somewhat higher than the reported 6%.

    That’s 1/4 of current smokers in the Cayman Island saying they will quit because of the increase.

    I do find it funny how prices went up from around 6.50 to near 10 in gas stations (3.50 increase made up of 2.10 increase in duty and 1.40 increase in profit for gas stations). Good business if you can find it!

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