Quit Joins Call For Tobacco Tax Increase

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28th April 2008, 05:21pm - Views: 532

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Media Release:  Monday 28th April 2008, for immediate release

Quit joins call for tobacco tax increase 

Quit has supported calls from the Rudd Government's chief adviser on preventive health to increase the

tobacco tax.

Executive Director of Quit, Ms Fiona Sharkie, said increasing the price of cigarettes is probably the

single most effective intervention that can be made in tobacco control.  

“An increase of 2.5 cents per cigarette would reduce tobacco consumption by 2.6%, with an estimated

40 000 adults giving up smoking and 10 000 fewer teenagers making the transition to regular smoking.”

"Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death in Australia, killing more than 15 000 people

every year so there is a long way to go and a lot of work to do before smoking can be considered a

problem of the past.”

“Aside from CPI increased and the introduction of the GST in June 2000, tobacco tax has not increased

in Australia in almost ten years.”

“With rising costs in food, petrol and housing, tobacco is now relatively inexpensive. It is cheaper to buy

a packet of cigarettes than it is to go to a movie or buy a mobile phone card.”

Ms Sharkie said the proposed tax increase would raise an extra $400,000,000 that could be used to

fund other effective tobacco control interventions such as nation-wide mass media campaigns.

“With tobacco costing the Australian community $31.5 billion dollars every year, it is essential proven

tobacco control strategies, including a tax increase are put into place as soon as possible to reduce the

devastating effects of smoking both on the individual and the whole community.”

According to Ms Sharkie, young people and low SES smokers would most benefit from an increase in

the price of cigarettes as they are groups who are more sensitive to price.

“By increasing tobacco tax, the Australian Government would be adopting a proven measure to 'close

the gap' in health inequalities, with low SES smokers more likely to reduce cigarette consumption or

quit if the price of cigarettes increase.”

“International evidence also shows that price increases have a strong impact on young people.” 

Fiona Sharkie is available for comment on 03 9635 5522 or 0437 347 007  

Further information: Edwina Pearse, Media Manager,

ph: (03) 9635 5400 mobile: 0417 303 811

email: edwina.pearse@cancervic.org.au

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