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More proof a price increase helps smokers quit as senate passes tobacco tax

Tuesday 15 June, 2010

Calls to Quitline have surged since the increase in tobacco tax excise and were higher in May in Victoria than for any other month in four years.

Some 3,111 Victorians phoned the Quitline last month, compared to just over two thousand callers the month before.

The numbers are revealed as new research shows recent quitters ranked cigarette cost as the most helpful aid when making the decision to quit, trying to quit and staying quit.

Quit Executive Director Fiona Sharkie said the Cancer Council Victoria research was especially important given the tax rise was here to stay after being passed in the senate this afternoon.

"Studies continuously show that a price increase is the single most effective measure that can bring down smoking rates in the community. And now recent quitters are saying it was the most useful aid when they were quitting too."

"We're glad to see members of the senate have recognised this and passed this life-saving tax that is already showing tangible results in encouraging more smokers to try to quit."

Call numbers to Quitline are reflective of just some of the estimated 100,000 Australians who will quit smoking because of the tobacco excise increase.

The last time Quitline had this many callers was when graphic health warnings on cigarette packs were introduced in May 2006.