• June 15, 2024

Call for tobacco-duty freeze

 Call for tobacco-duty freeze

There is little public support in the UK for a further increase in tobacco duty, according to the results of a new poll announced yesterday.

The survey, conducted by Populus for the smokers’ group Forest, found that 76 percent of adults think the current level of tax – more than 80 percent on an average pack of cigarettes – is either about right (44 percent) or too high (32 percent). Twenty-four percent think it’s too low.

Sixty-eight percent said that buying illicit tobacco was an “understandable” response to the soaring cost of tobacco purchased legally. Twenty-two percent found it “not understandable”.

“Tobacco duty in the UK is exceptionally high compared to most other EU countries,” said the director of Forest, Simon Clark, ahead of the autumn budget due to be brought down on November 22.

“Another tax hike will discriminate against the less well-off and those who are just about managing.

“It will also encourage more smokers to buy tobacco on the black market because there isn’t the stigma associated with other illicit transactions.

“We urge the Chancellor to give smokers a break, take public opinion into account and freeze tobacco duty at the current levels.”