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Cuts on duty-free tobacco welcomed

May 9, 2012

The federal budget’s clampdown on duty-free tobacco sales has been welcomed by a health group as a “win-win” for government.

Under existing rules, inbound travellers aged over 18 are allowed to bring in 250 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco products tax-free.

This will be cut down to 50 cigarettes.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) chief executive Anne Jones said duty-free products undermined health goals.

“It makes no sense for government to give tax breaks to the tobacco industry and its deadly addictive products,” Ms Jones said on Wednesday.

“This is a win-win for government.”

She said the measure would raise extra $600 million over four years and end the “anachronistic concession” for Australia’s leading cause of death and disease.”

About 320 million duty-free cigarettes are sold in Australia each year, ASH says.

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