Tobacco duty increase 'not enough'


CigaretteThe Chancellor should have taken a tougher stance on increasing duty on tobacco products, health campaigners have said.

Duty will rise by 2% above inflation from 6pm on Wednesday.

But health charity Ash (Action on Smoking and Health) said George Osborne should have increased duty to 5% to encourage smokers to kick the habit.

Chief executive Deborah Arnott said: "This is disappointing. If the Government had increased tobacco tax by 5% as we requested it would have increased Government revenues and helped more smokers to quit smoking.

"Cigarettes are still more affordable than they were in the 1960s and there is a danger that smokers will simply trade down to cheaper brands rather than stop smoking."

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation said any increase in the price of tobacco would help people quit.

Eileen Streets, director of tobacco control at the charity, said: "We believe raising taxes on tobacco helps encourage smokers to quit and in turn dramatically improve the health of our nation.

"We know the cost of cigarettes is one of the main reasons people decide to quit and now the Government has announced that duty rates on tobacco products will increase by 2% there is no better time to quit.

"We are pleased with this as not only will quitting improve individual's health but also improve finances."

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