Price hike today means cigarettes now more than $1 each

EXCISE hikes from today will add 12.5% to the price of cigarettes and continues the regular cost increases to smokers meaning many pay more than a dollar per fag.

The latest annual increase in the tobacco excise is the third in a four-year set of increases that runs until next year.

However, the price of cigarettes is also increased twice yearly in line with the rate of average weekly earnings.

Is the latest price hike enough to make you quit smoking?

This poll ended on 08 September 2015.

Current Results

Yes - this should be the impetus I need

14%

Maybe. It's certainly got me thinking about it.

10%

No. If making cigarettes expensive was going to make me quit, I would have done so years ago.

74%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

That means cigarettes are going up by about 20% each year, British American Tobacco spokesperson Scott McIntyre said.

This hit to the hip-pocket nerve of smokers is something they shouldn't ignore, the Cancer Institute of NSW manager Anita Dessaix said.

"With the Federal Government's latest tax increase, a pack-a-day smoker will save around $7000 each year if they give up the deadly habit," she said.

"Quitting smoking is by far the best thing a person can do for their health and if that's not enough incentive, thinking about how to spend all that extra cash is a great motivator."

Ever year in NSW, about 46,000 hospitalisations and 5500 deaths are attributed to smoking.

"Since the first of this series of tax increases in 2013, there has been a 17% rise in the number of NSW smokers who have tried or thought about quitting," Ms Dessaix said.

But the price increase can simply push people into buying cheaper cigarettes, Mr McIntyre said.

"The price rises will put pressure on smokers to look for cheaper alternatives in the market," he said.

"The low priced cigarette segment has grown 94% in the last five years and 16% in just the last six months mainly due to this series of large excise increases.

"As smokers demand cheaper options, we're forced to compete, which in turn causes immense competition at the low end of the market.

"We don't believe the intention of the government's ad hoc tax increases is to cause increased competition at the bottom end of the market allowing smokers access to a growing range of cheaper brands."

Tobacco excise increases are supported by the Coalition, Labor and the Greens, the Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash said.

"Big tobacco companies can whinge all they like. Excise increases help reduce smoking rates and save lives," she said.

They also offset health costs, she added.

Some smokers give their views of the price rises

JEFF RANKIN: I have been smoking on and off for 40 years. I have already changed to a cheaper brand, and that can save me $10 a packet. I would have enough money for a new golf cart if I stopped smoking.
JEFF RANKIN: I have been smoking on and off for 40 years. I have already changed to a cheaper brand, and that can save me $10 a packet. I would have enough money for a new golf cart if I stopped smoking.
RODNEY FOSTER: They are crushing smokers. The price rises won’t make a lot of people quit. They have to stop selling cigarettes altogether, but the government won’t do that because it makes too much money out of it.
RODNEY FOSTER: They are crushing smokers. The price rises won’t make a lot of people quit. They have to stop selling cigarettes altogether, but the government won’t do that because it makes too much money out of it.
ERIS MARSH: I have been smoking for 50 years. Yes, it is time to give up. I should never have started smoking and I wish I gave up long ago. My advice to young people is never start smoking.
ERIS MARSH: I have been smoking for 50 years. Yes, it is time to give up. I should never have started smoking and I wish I gave up long ago. My advice to young people is never start smoking.


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