Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake today launched a scheme to tax passive smoking and sent a squad of inspectors around the country to monitor the secondhand inhalation by people standing next to individuals with cigarettes.
The bungling minister said, “As a result of the price rise of cigarettes we expected an increase in government coffers due to the relative price inelasticity of the product. However, we have seen demand plummet as smokers began to ditch first hand smoking altogether and move on to passive smoking. This is having a big impact on the country’s finances, but not as bad as Arjuna Mahendra. As such we have begun taxing secondhand smoking immediately.”
“If anyone is standing within a 2-meter radius of an individual is smoking, an inspector will have the right to ask that person to blow i to a breathalyser which will analyse the smoke content of their lungs. For every 100 units of increase in smoke the passive smoker will have to pay VAT of 15%, or whatever figure it is on the day depending on how I have screwed it up,” he added.
One passive smoker said, “Desperate times call for desperate measures. I now pay a dude to inhale secondhand smoke and then come and blow it into my mouth. So far Ravi has said only secondhand smoke it VAT liable so I think I’ve got away with it.”