Everywhere you look the price of cigarettes has been on the rise – but even with the shocking prospect of paying £20 a pack by 2020 in the UK, Australia comfortably occupies the top spot for most expensive cigs.
Currently in the UK, a packet of cigarettes cost £10 on average – but this is still enviable for hardened smokers in Australia, where a packet of cigarettes will set you back nearly $40.
This is all down to costs being pushed up in this year’s budget in a bit to motivate people to stop smoking.
Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison announced smokers would be set back even more for a pack of cigarettes from 1 September, this year, due to the second of four-consecutive 12.5 percent tobacco excise rises.
Only last year, the price of 30 Winfield Blues, the popular Aussie brand, jumped up by $2.70 (£1.50 / US $2), meaning a rise from $32.50 (£18.20 / US $23.70) to $35.20 (£19.70 / US $25.70).
The tax hike this year is expected to result in a price increase of about $3 (£1.70 / US $2.20) for a typical packet – looks like Stoptober might be on the books for many in the land of Oz.
Even with the dramatic price increase, it seems many people in Australia remain reluctant to kick the habit.
It was reported there was only a tiny 0.2 percent drop in smokers in the last three years.
Earlier this month it was reported researchers from the University of Bath reckon that the price of £10 (US $13) for 20 smokes is ‘too affordable’ to urge people to quit.
Their proposed solution to this problem is for the UK to hike the tax even higher on straights and roll-ups, and continue to do so year on year until cigs cost £20 (US $26) per pack by 2020 – smokers might need to look in to remortgaging their homes to fund their habit, at this rate.
One of the key researchers over at the University of Bath, Dr Rob Branston, reckons further tax rises could be the push they need to quit the deadly habit.
He said: “Larger tax rises are needed to make smokers realise it is unaffordable. We would suggest that the UK government follow the lead of the Australian government.
“They have announced large yearly price rises up to 2020 which will result in the price in the shops exceeding the equivalent of £20 a packet.
“If the UK follows suit, tobacco will become less affordable and this should push more smokers to give up the deadly habit.
“This will especially be the case if the money raised is used to fund services to support quitting.”
With all these price increases across the world there still remains one issue – people are still smoking.
So, it does beg the question: though a price increase will provide a motive to quit, will it be enough to convince people to kick the habit forever?
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