Big week for smoking: The Budget, No Smoking Day & new report – Women have greater emotional bond to cigarettes

Sunday 07 March 1999

ASH/ Press releases/


102 CliftonStreet, London EC2A 4HW Tel: (020) 7739 5902 Fax: (020) 7613 0531

Press release
7th March 1999
Action on Smoking
and Health

Big week for smoking: the budget, No Smoking Day and new report – women have greateremotional bond to cigarettes

In a big week for smoking a new report [1] out on Monday shows that women have moreemotional attachment to cigarettes than men; Tuesday’s budget will see the price ofcigarettes heading for £4.00; No SmokingDay on Wednesday will give the each of the 70% of smokers that say they want toquit a chance to take the plunge with a million others.

Clive Bates, Director of ASH and a co-author of the report, said: “It shows thatdependence on cigarettes is a complex mixture of chemical addiction, behavioural habitsand social conditioning and that these are different for men and women.”

“When a million people try to quit on No Smoking Day, everyone will have to findtheir own way to deal the powerful grip of cigarettes.” said Bates. “You cantake the edge of the chemical cravings with nicotine patches, chew gum or use an inhalerto help with the habits, but perhaps some people, especially women, also need to findsomething to replace the cigarette as a reward, a treat to themselves and a break fromeveryday pressures.”

The Budget

No Smoking Day which is on Wednesday 10th March, will be given a big boostby the budget the previous day. It is Government policy announced in the July 1997 budgetand reinforced in the December 1998 White Paper on tobacco to raise tobacco taxes by atleast 5% above the rate of inflation.

“We should expect cigarettes to be heading towards four pounds a packet” saidBates. “Even if you are not bothered about your health, the economic reasons to takethe plunge on No Smoking Day have never been stronger.”

ASH dismissed the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association call for a reduction of one poundper pack because of a rise smuggling [2].

“This would cause a sharp increase in cigarette sales, which is what the tobaccocompanies really want, while doing little to tackle organised smuggling gangs. If theChancellor was daft enough to follow their advice, it would eventually lead to around8,000 additional deaths per year, and a sharp drop in Treasury revenues of around threebillion pounds.”

“Smuggling is a serious problem, but it is a law and order issue and the way totackle it is by spending more on Customs, intelligence, tax stamps, stiffer penalties andeven appointing a smuggling Tsar – not by caving in to criminals and reversing a sensibletax and health policy.

[1] Sex and Smoking, A report for No Smoking Day by Professor Robert West, St George’sHospital and Clive Bates, Action on Smoking and Health.

[2] ASH’s budget submission: <ahref=”http:”” papers=”” budget99.html”=””><fontsize=”3″>

[3] No Smoking Day site: <ahref=”http:”=””>



Contact Clive Bates, Director (020) 7739 5902
For No Smoking Day and the report contact Munro
& Forster
0171 439 7177

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