It’s been a tough year if you’re a smoker – the price of cigarettes rocketed when 10 packs became obsolete earlier this year alongside the introduction of the minimum excise tax – and it looks like it’s going to get even worse during tomorrow’s budget.
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Many are predicting that the Chancellor Of The Exchequer will Philip Hammond will leave smokers even more out of pocket, with the minimum price of a packet of cigarettes being rumoured to rise to £10.26. Ouch.
Obviously, a lot of people in this country aren’t going to be happy about that and this we epitomised by the spokesperson from British American Tobacco UK, a guy with the curious name of Will Hill:
We urge Mr Hammond not to hit UK smokers with yet another excise increase just eight months after the last Budget.
2017 has already seen smokers hit with a triple whammy of price increases with the March excise increase, the increased cost of minimum pack sizes of 20s and the introduction of the Minimum Excise Tax.
These increases, added together, mean many smokers have seen their out of pocket spend on a pack of cigarettes go up by £1 this year already.
Another excise increase in 2017 could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and forces many smokers into the cheaper-priced black market.
We’ve already seen a significant increase in black market and smuggled tobacco products fueled by the duty driven price increases.
While we understand the Government wants to address the public health impact of tobacco, we believe focusing on more pragmatic approaches such as increasing focus on promoting the use of e-cigarettes would have a greater impact than simply hiking up prices.
Not quite sure if that stuff about the black market is actually true – I haven’t exactly seen anything happening with that but I suppose there’s no reason why it shouldn’t exist and expand as a result of a price increase – but it’s certainly going to be an interesting time for smokers if this ends up happening tomorrow. Probably time to quit.
Unfortunately, this study reckons vaping is as bad for you as smoking regular cigarettes. Doesn’t look like it’s going to be easy hey.