News

Australia will price out cigarettes with 50% tax rise over four years

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i2549 (Published 05 May 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2549
  1. Michael Woodhead
  1. Sydney

Australia is to continue its aggressive tobacco taxation policy with a further four rounds of 12.5% yearly increases that will hike the price of a pack of cigarettes from the current level of US$20 (£13.80; €17.40) to around US$30 by 2020.

Health groups have welcomed the move by the Liberal Party led coalition government to continue the strong anti-tobacco policies introduced by its Labor predecessor in 2010, which have already seen smoking rates tumble to 12.8% of adults.

Sanchia Aranda, chief executive of Cancer Council Australia, said, “The increase in tobacco tax alone will translate to tens of thousands of cancer deaths avoided, with trend data showing that the recurrent increases will lead to around 320 000 smokers quitting and 40 000 …

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