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Tobacco tax rise welcome addition to raft of measures

Thursday 29 April, 2010

Smoking rates in Australia are likely to fall significantly, after the Federal Government announced an increase in tax on cigarettes today.

The 25% excise increase will take the price of a pack of thirty cigarettes from around $14.50 to $16.70, effective midnight.

Quit Executive Director, Ms Fiona Sharkie, welcomed the news, saying a cigarette price rise was the single most effective action the government could take to drive down smoking rates.

"Quit estimates that 100 thousand smokers will give up smoking because of this tax increase, while 25 thousand children won't take up the habit because of the extra cost."

"Tobacco is a leading cause of preventable death in Australia, claiming 15 000 lives each year. There is absolutely no doubt that this measure alone has the potential to save thousands of lives that otherwise would be lost to the devastating harms of tobacco."

"When coupled with plain packaging and extra money for anti smoking campaigns, even more lives could be saved."