Rise in tobacco tax – good for health, good for the economy
21 March 2012
The 5% real term rise in tobacco duty has been warmly welcomed by health campaigners, who had lobbied for this level of increase to help smokers quit and dissuade children from taking up the habit. 
ASH is particularly pleased that the Chancellor acknowledges that raising tobacco duty is an effective way of reducing smoking and a key component of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy. 
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH said:
“This is excellent news. Raising the price of tobacco through taxation is the most effective way of encouraging smokers who want to quit to make that first step. We are delighted that the Chancellor has listened to the voices of the health community and taken decisive action to tackle the greatest single cause of ill health and premature death.
This tax rise will also put cigarettes out of the price range of many young people making it less likely that they will take up this lethal habit.”
 A submission to the Treasury in advance of the Budget by ASH and the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies (UKCTCS), endorsed by 91 health organisations, had urged the Chancellor to raise the tobacco tax escalator from 2% to 5% above inflation (equivalent to about 2p per cigarette) in order to reduce smoking while at the same time raise much needed revenue.
The submission is available at: http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_832.pdf (pdf)
 The Government’s Tobacco Control Plan for England includes a pledge to make tobacco less affordable. (p24) http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_124917
Amanda Sandford 020 7739 5902 ISDN available