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March 13th, 2008:

No Smoking Day

Smokers with a 20-a-day habit will be paying over £2077 a year for their habit after the latest Budget tax rise.

Chancellor Alistair Darling’s announcement of a 11p per pack rise coincides with the 25th annual No Smoking Day, which takes place today (12 March).

To mark the event, the No Smoking Day charity has released new research showing almost one in five smokers plan to stop today*. Research indicates the rising cost of smoking is proving a key factor in triggering quit attempts.

No Smoking Day chief executive Dan Tickle said: “Today’s Budget rise, coming on the back of smokefree legislation, is likely to be a decisive factor for many smokers considering quitting. A 20-a-day smoker will now be spending well over £2000 a year, up from under £500 when we launched our first No Smoking Day, 25 years ago.

“But the good news is that the now leads the world in services for people who want to quit smoking. You’re four times more likely to succeed if you use the free local stop smoking services. So if you are thinking about quitting, there’s really never been a better time.”

This year’s campaign, The Great No Smoking Day Challenge, sees events taking place across the , with local stop smoking services, employers, GPs and others providing help, support and advice to those that are ready to stop.

Tobacco Duty Should Be Higher

Tobacco Duty ‘Should Be Higher’

The Press Association – 13/3/2008

Anti-smoking campaigners have said they were disappointed that tobacco duty rises announced in the Budget were not higher but added that they backed the planned crackdown on tobacco smuggling.

Chancellor Alistair Darling said that from 6pm on Wednesday the duty on tobacco will rise, adding 11p to the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes and 4p to the price of five cigars.

He said the Government was continuing the 5% reduced rate of VAT on smoking cessation products beyond June 30.

Budget documents also revealed a new crackdown on smugglers of cheap illicit tobacco with the UK Border Agency set to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce tobacco smuggling.

The group Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) said it welcomed the announcements on smuggling and VAT on smoking cessation products.

Deborah Arnott, Ash director, said: “Substantially reducing tobacco smuggling must be a key plank of any policy to tackle health inequalities as research shows that low income smokers are much more likely to buy smuggled tobacco.

“This announcement is encouraging and we hope that the new strategy will be implemented as quickly as possible.”

But she added that Ash was critical of the Government for not “substantially” raising tobacco tax above the inflation rate.

The No Smoking Day charity said smokers with a 20-a-day habit would be paying more than £2,077 a year for their habit after the tax rise announced by the Chancellor.