stop me' 'Only fear of heart attack will
He smokes a pack of cigarettes a day and hits the pub every week without fail.
So, the announcement of the increase in taxes for alcohol and tobacco last Friday should hit him the hardest.
Taxes will be increased 25 per cent for all types of liquor and 10 per cent for tobacco immediately, in a move to reduce excessive consumption or indulgence in these areas.
But Mr Rory Tan, 52, has no plans of quitting either habit.
Said the self-employed and self-professed heavy drinker: "Got to pay what, don't have a choice. My old habits won't change just like that."
Mr Tan currently spends around $300 a month on cigarettes and an "undisclosed" amount on liquor.
He will only feel the full weight of Friday's announcement after his favourite watering hole reacts to the tax increases. (See report on right.)
"Unless they start charging me $100 for each pack, the new changes are not going to impact much. If you want to (smoke or drink), you will do it," he said.
The only person who can stop him? The doctor.
Said Mr Tan: "I will only give up when the doctor tells me that I'll get a heart attack if I don't stop."
Other heavy smokers and drinkers The New Paper spoke to since the Budget speech gave similar reactions.
Said Mr Lester Leow, 26: "Smokers like myself already expect the price of cigarettes to increase because we've been spending more on it yearly, but it's really not necessary to raise the alcohol taxes."
The sales associate spends around $240 a month on cigarettes and $300 a month on liquor.
He believes that the changes target younger people like him with less disposable income.
But not everyone his age binge drinks and causes problems, he said.
A national survey in 2010 found that one per cent of Singaporeans aged between 18 and 29 drink regularly, but 16 per cent of them binge drink.
Said Mr Leow: "Some people actually do need to entertain clients over a drinks.
"(The changes) will just increase our expenses and it's not like our salaries will increase with it."
Got to pay what, don't have a choice. My old habits won't change just like that.
- Mr Rory Tan, 52, a self-professed heavy smoker and drinker
Booze prices won't rise... for now
The good news is, it may be early days yet for clubs to start jacking up alcohol prices.
Excise duties for all types of liquor will rise by 25 per cent immediately, the Government said last week.
But most establishments will not increase their prices immediately as they have yet to hear from their suppliers, said Singapore Nightlife Business Association president Dennis Foo.
And that could take up to a month, said Mr Foo, who is also chief executive of St James Holdings and manages several clubs.
Only then would he know how much to increase the prices by.
Establishments which import their own alcoholic beverages will have a better idea of what and when their price increases will be.
Mr Foo's clubs get their alcohol from suppliers.
But Brussels Sprouts, which imports its own beers from Belgium, plans to raise beer prices, possibly by a dollar, from June.
"All our prices are still the same for now," said its spokesman.
TARGETING LOWER-END DRINKERS?
Mr Foo said the increase in alcohol tax will hit those who drink cheaper alcohol harder.
He explained that the tax increase translates to only about 25 cents per shot in nightclubs.
That works out to about two per cent of what one shot would typically cost at clubs now.
But the effect is greater at retail outlets, which sells drinks at a lower base price.
Places like these might see their overall prices of spirits raised by as much as 15 per cent, he said.
"The overall effect is really targeted at the low-end drinkers who buy cheap alcohol at retail stores," said Mr Foo.
Beer will also see an increase of 50 cents to a dollar, but the impact is less significant for bar-sold beers as their prices are much higher than those sold at supermarkets or coffee shops, he said.
He believes that this is because the Government wants to reduce the excessive drinking of cheap alcohol, which could lead to law and order issues.