Smokers are facing a huge hit to their wallets when tax hikes push the price of a cigarette pack to almost $40 on Saturday - but say they won't quit.
The second 12.5 per cent price rise in as many years drew scorn from smokers who said it hit low earners the hardest and wouldn't slash smoking rates.
To make matters worse, the government's war on smoking will slug ordinary Australians an extra 12.5 per cent in taxes in each of the next two years.
A group of friends enjoying a pint and a cigarette on Thursday night at a Sydney pub bristled at the prospect of paying up to $20 a week extra for their habit.
Smokers are facing a huge hit to their wallets when tax hikes push the price of a cigarette pack to almost $40 on Saturday - but say they won't quit
Ryan Robinson, 27, who started smoking at 13 and now gets through four packs of 20 a week, said higher prices wouldn't stop him or anyone else.
'People will smoke anyway and the government knows it,' he told Daily Mail Australia from the smokers area of Maloney's Hotel in Sydney's CBD.
'It's the same as speeding fines and alcohol taxes, it's just an easy way for them to make cash off something many people need.'
Nick Jeffrey, 26, who also smoked four packs a week, said putting up the price of cigarettes had 'no benefit to society'.
'It's all well and good to hike the price again, but people aren't going to stop because cigarettes are a big part of our lives,' he said.
'Taxes on smokers just disadvantage them, and they are usually people from low socio-economic backgrounds.'
A group of friends enjoying a pint and a cigarette on a Thursday night at a Sydney pub bristled at the prospect of paying up to $20 a week extra for their habit
Courtney Murtagh, 21, smoked the least of the group with just one 25g rolling pouch, which costs almost $50 on average, a week but was still irate about the price hike.
'Buying drugs is cheaper than buying cigarettes now, so if anything more people might start using those,' she said.
'They thought the ugly packs with gross pictures on them would deter people but that didn't stop anyone buying them.'
Gabriel Vital, 28, the biggest smoker of the group at five packs a week was facing at least a $20-a-week increase in his weekly habit.
'The taxes aren't even targeted towards cancer research or anything like that, just straight into the government's coffers,' he said.
Caio Lapa, 26, smoked two 50g roller pouches a week said the tax hike was a 'ridiculous cash grab' by the government.
'The government just wants more money,