The Cancer Council says that increase of tobacco prices that will take place in December can help 250,000 people stop smoking in Australia. From December 1 tax on cigarettes will get increased by 12.5% every year during the next four years.
This year smokers will give $2.50 extra for a standard pack of 20 cigarettes and by 2016 it will rise to $5.25. The tax was introduced by the former federal government and it is in addition to increases which took place after indexation arrangements.
Penny Egan, chief executive of Cancer Council welcomed the initiative. She says that cigarettes taxes in Australia are below the WHO best practice for tobacco tax that is 70% of the total price.
Taxes on cigarettes in Australia make up less than 60% of the final price, and new increased taxes will put Australia closer to the WHO goals for public health improvement.
Among Australian states the highest smoking rate is reported in Tasmania with 21.7% of smoking people and in these conditions the best way to reduce number of smokers is to increase cigarette taxes. The measure is proved to be most effective in achieving this aim.
An increase by 10% will result in a reduction in tobacco use because more adult people will quit smoking, less teenagers will start smoking and others will reduce their daily cigarette consumption. It is estimated that the tax increases that starts the next month will result in 210,000 fewer Australian adults and 40,000 less teens smoking.’
However, Civil Liberties Australia state spokesman Richard Griggs has doubts that tax increase would have such a strong impact, because many people who love smoking will pay any price for cigarettes.
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