11p Rise on Cost of 20 Cigarettes Is Not Enough, Says Lobby Group; TOBACCO
Anti-smoking campaigners yesterday said they were disappointed tobacco duty rises in the Budget were not higher but added they backed the planned crackdown on tobacco smuggling.
Chancellor Alistair Darling said from 6pm last night the duty on tobacco will rise, adding 11p to the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes and 4p to the price of five cigars.
He said the Government was continuing the five per cent reduced rate of VAT on smoking cessation products beyond June 30.
Budget documents revealed a new crackdown on smugglers of cheap illicit tobacco with the UK Border Agency set to develop a comprehensive strategy.
The group Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) said it welcomed the announcements on smuggling and VAT on smoking cessation products.
Deborah Arnott, Ash director, said: "Substantially reducing tobacco smuggling must be a key plank of any policy to tackle health inequalities as research shows low income smokers are much more likely to buy smuggled tobacco. This announcement is encouraging and we hope the new strategy will be implemented as quickly as possible."
But she added Ash was critical of the Government for not "substantially" raising tobacco tax above inflation.
The No Smoking Day charity said smokers with a 20-aday habit would be paying more than pounds 2,077 a year for their habit after the tax rise. The announcements by the Chancellor have been made on No Smoking Day.
No Smoking Day chief executive Dan Tickle said: "Today's Budget rise, coming on the back of smokefree legislation, is likely to be a decisive factor for many smokers considering quitting. …