Smokers back pocket hit by tax hike

CLARENCE Valley smokers have been hit hard in the back pocket as the Government attempts a new way to encourage tobacco enthusiasts to kick the habit. 

The price of a packet of cigarettes increased by 12.5% today. The 12.5% tax increase is the third of four annual tax increases on tobacco totalling in approximately 60% increase in the price of cigarettes by 1 December 2016. Following these, the average Australian smoker will spend nearly $26,000 on cigarettes over the next four years.

Health Promotion Manager Jillian Adams said that although smoking levels have declined dramatically in the past 30 years there are still around 19% of adults smoking in our area.

"Many of these smokers are nicotine-dependent and find it really hard to quit.  To help them, Northern NSW Local Health District will now be offering free quit smoking programs in most locations. The quit programs are 3 or 6 weeks long and will help support smokers quit for good" Ms Adams said/.

The impact of smoking on individuals, society and the country's economy remains high: in Australia smoking is the largest single preventable cause of death and disease.

It kills more people than alcohol, other drugs, murder, suicide, road crashes, rail crashes, air crashes, poisoning, drowning, fires, falls, lightning, electrocution, snakes, spiders and sharks combined.

Each year, smoking costs Australia $31.5 billion in social (including health) and economic costs.

There are immediate health benefits to quitting smoking at any age.  Stopping smoking decreases the risk of lung and other cancers, heart attack, stroke and chronic disease compared with continued smoking.

To find out more about the free local Quit Smoking programs call Christine on 0417474417 or call Quitline on 13 7848 (13 QUIT) for free individual phone support.

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