Rise in tobacco tax welcomed

30 November 2013

Cancer Council Tasmania has welcomed the Australian Government’s tobacco excise increase of 12.5 per cent which starts tomorrow (1 December).

It is the first of four annual increases scheduled for implementation between now and 2017.

CEO Penny Egan said the increase was particularly important for Tasmania.

“Tasmania is the State with the highest smoking rate in Australia at 21.7 per cent,” Mrs Egan said.

“Smoking kills Tasmanians and is linked to 16 cancer types.

“We applaud any move that discourages tobacco use as the evidence clearly demonstrates that an increase in the price of tobacco is the single most effective way to reduce smoking.

“A 10% increase in the price of cigarettes will result in a four per cent reduction in consumption because more adult smokers will quit, less young people will start smoking and others will reduce their daily cigarette intake.

“It is estimated that the four tax increases will result in about 210,000 fewer Australian adults and 40,000 less teenagers smoking and this will eventually save lives.

“Australia currently falls below the WHO best practise for tobacco tax which is set at a minimum of 70% of the total price.  In Australia tobacco taxes make up less than 60% of the final price, and these increases will put Australia closer to the WHO targets for public health outcomes.”

Mrs Egan said by the end of 2014 a typical pack of 25 cigarettes will cost more than $20.

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