Cigarette price rise another reason to quit

Thursday 1 September, 2016

Quitline is preparing for an influx of calls ahead of a tobacco tax increase today, which will push the current leading brand of cigarettes to more than $26.

Quit Victoria Director Dr Sarah White said regular price increases for cigarettes are the single most effective means of reducing death and disease from smoking.

"Price rises are particularly effective at stopping young people from taking up smoking, and encouraging quit attempts among smokers from lower socioeconomic groups,'' she said.

"Cancer Council research found that more than half of Victorian smokers tried to cut down or quit in response to tobacco tax increases in 2013."

Retail prices for cigarettes vary depending on brand and place of purchase. As a guide, however, the recommended retail price of the current leading brand is expected to increase from $23.95 to $26.60 as a result of today's tax increase.

The tax increase is the final in a series of four annual 12.5% tax increases that began in 2013. The Turnbull Government has announced an additional series of four annual 12.5% tax increases will take effect from September 2017.

As a result of the increases, the current leading brand of cigarettes is expected to cost $40 by the end of the decade. Based on analyses of previous tobacco tax increases, this is likely to prompt at least 320,000 Australians to give up smoking, and could deter something like 40,000 teenagers from taking up the habit.

Dr White said quitting smoking is not only the best thing you can do for your health, but also a great way to improve your finances.

"Quitting smoking has immediate health benefits and there is plenty of support available to help you beat the habit,'' Dr White said.

"Seeking out support from a professional advisor or coach - for example through the Quitline - and using nicotine replacement products or quitting medications is the best way to increase your chance of butting out for good."