News & Comment

Forest slams increase in tobacco duty

Wed 21st March, 2012

Forest has attacked the Chancellor's decision to increase tobacco duty by five per cent above inflation from tonight.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, said: "This is a smugglers' charter.

"More and more consumers will turn to the black market or buy their tobacco abroad.

"The elderly, the low paid and the unemployed will be hit the hardest but this is an attack on all law-abiding smokers who support Britain's retailers by purchasing their cigarettes at home.

"The only people celebrating this decision will be criminal gangs and tobacco control lobbyists."

Update: Health campaigners warmly welcomed the five per cent increase. ASH chief executive Deborah Arnott 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."

Source: Independent (21 March 2012)

See also: Calls for '2p a cigarette' rise (BBC News, 2 March 2012)

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