Smoking

Price Of Cigarettes Could Soar Above £10 As Smokers Face 'Sin Tax'

Smoking is an expensive habit as it is - regardless of whether you're a full blown every day user or enjoy a few clickies on a boozy night out - most people have been shocked by the price.

Price Of Cigarettes Could Soar Above £10 As Smokers Face 'Sin Tax'

And it's thought that things can only get worse as Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to be increasing tobacco duty above the rate of inflation in his autumn budget on October 29.

 

In his 2017 budget he ramped tobacco duty at the rate of inflation - 3% - plus a further 2% to the horror of the estimated 7.5 million smokers in the UK.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The Daily Star reported that tobacco duty is part of the so-called 'sin tax' which makes it an easy target for chancellors looking to boost the public finances at minimal political cost.

Simon Clark, director of the smokers' group Forest, told the Daily Star: "Tobacco duty has been rising for years as a result of the so-called tobacco tax escalator with the result that over 80% of the cost of tobacco now goes to government.

"A further increase in tobacco duty will once again hit those who can least afford it, the elderly and the low paid.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

 

"As well as forcing some people further into poverty, it will inevitably encourage others to buy their tobacco abroad or on the black market.

"This will hit legitimate retailers and the government will lose income, so no-one wins apart from criminal gangs and illicit traders."

But some people are all for accelerating the prices of cigarettes with experts claiming that a 50 per cent rise in the price would help save millions of lives. And, yep, you read that right - a 50 per cent increase.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

According to the Express, if prices were doubled to around £20, 449 million years of life would be saved worldwide, as well as roughly £110 billion currently spent on treatment for smoking-related diseases including heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Dr Prabhat Jha, from St Michael's Hospital in Toronto, who authored the study alongside Patricio Marquez, told the Express: "Our study debunks the current narrative that higher cigarette prices would negatively impact the poorest among us.

"This analysis shows the opposite - a higher price would encourage cessation, lead to better health, and save money much more strongly for the poor than the rich."

Mr Marquez added: "Not only does increasing tobacco taxation reduce smoking and its health consequences, but the study's findings are also relevant to the United Nations sustainable development goals to reduce poverty and improve health."

Well, I for one would reconsider having a cheeky menthol on a Saturday night, that's for sure.

Featured Image Credit: PA