Smokers coughed and took to Twitter when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hiked the tax on cigarettes from 11% to 72% in his budget.
While the initial reaction was of shock and despair, Twitter users managed to regain the strength to make jokes on the impact the hike will have on their lives. Though Jaitley's budget speech lasted for over two hours, it was the hike in cigarette prices that echoed across.
"Girls, now the best gift for guys would be a pack of cigarettes." tweeted @HaramiParindey to his 5k users. In fact some users were quick to suggest fellow smokers to turn to cheaper methods of satisfying their addiction. "Shift from cigarettes to Bedis #Budget2014" tweeted another user @krupakar_m.
Memes weren't far behind as well. Popular Indian news satire website Faking News posted the following tweet to its 327k users:
We bring you select tweets that won't fail to make you laugh:
Phones all over India have started ringing as people call each other to collect on all the cigarettes their friends borrowed back in college— Are we there yet? (@Psilosophy) July 10, 2014
Smoking banned in public places so that 1. People can't show-off their cigarettes. 2. Enjoy your bidi without feeling public embarrassment— Donald Duck (@WatDaDuck_) July 10, 2014
Just signed a cheque to buy a pack of cigarettes on EMI.— A muse sing (@LoKarloFollow) July 10, 2014
"increase cigarette prices so people quit smoking" *all smokers stand united* *raise standards to afford cigarettes* *smokers win again*— priest (@UdaasPriest) July 10, 2014
Tapris with credit card machines for cigarettes.— Chaitanya (@Chaitanya_13) July 10, 2014
Hey girl! Are you cigarette? Because I can't afford you and you're smoking hot.— Maithun Chakraborty (@Being_Humor) July 10, 2014
Soon smoking would be a status symbol. "Ladka well settled hai aur Smoke bhi karta hai" "Bhai waah! Rishta pakka"— GabbbarSingh (@GabbbarSingh) July 10, 2014
Old : 'Smoking is injurious to health' New : 'Jaitley is injurious to smoking'— $$Jhunjhunwala/Magal (@jhunjhunwala) July 10, 2014
More cases of people smoking aggarbattis to come up soon— Kabir Taneja (@KabirTaneja) July 10, 2014