New Delhi, July 10 IANS | 3 months ago

People Thursday took to the social media to either applaud the finance minister's move to hike excise duty on cigarettes and tobacco products or to vent their ire against the proposal.

Calling it a "much-needed" step and the only practical deterrent, majority of the netizens in their posts and tweets praised Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who proposed a hike in excise duty in the range of 11 to 72 percent.

"It was high time that the prices were increased because it is the only deterrent. The government had earlier introduced pictorial warnings on cigarette packets but it hardly helped," posted Delhi University student Arav Bhatt.

To support his argument, Bhatt said many of his college friends started smoking despite the graphic warnings on the packets.

Some were more than willing to cut down their daily consumption of cigarettes to reduce expenses.

"Guess it's time to cut down or quit the nicotine addiction," tweeted Pankaj Singh from Bangalore.

"Goodbye ciggys (cigarettes) hello nico gums," tweeted Sara Bajpayee from Ahmedabad, referring to nicotine chewing gum that helps smokers kick the butt.

The news upset some smokers who termed the proposal arbitrary and said they would just shift to some cheaper brands.

"Don't force me to quit (smoking). I'll do it if I want," posted Zahir Khan, a resident of Hyderabad.

(Posted on 10-07-2014)

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