Queensland smokers will pay up to $3.05 more for a packet of cigarettes from today, with the price of a single cigarette rising to more than $1 for some brands.
The latest national tobacco tax excise increase of 12.5 per cent, effective today, will see smokers paying an extra $1.52 in tax for a pack of 25 and up to $3.05 more for a pack of 50.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the tax on tobacco was proven as the most effective measure to drive down smoking rates.
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“Many Australians cut back on their habit or quit altogether, in response to the tobacco tax hikes each year,” Ms Clift said.
“Research shows the tobacco excise increase in 2010 caused smoking rates to decline by about 11 per cent.
“Evidence also indicates that a tax increase on cigarettes is particularly effective among people on lower incomes and young people across Australia.
“There’s been no better time than now to stub out the habit for good – for your health, your budget and the health of your friends and family.
“Save a few extra dollars and take a step toward saving your life from this lethal habit by quitting for good.”
Cancer Council Queensland has urged all Members of Parliament to vote for a Private Member’s Bill calling for more smoke free spaces across the State.
The Bill calls for a ban on cigarettes sold at ‘pop-up’ shops and smoking bans within five metres of Queensland Government buildings, at public transport waiting points and pedestrian malls, and at swimming pools and skate parks.
“The Bill is another effective measure to help existing smokers quit the habit, and to prevent the younger generation from starting smoking in the first place,” Ms Clift said.
“The Bill responds to community appeals for smoke free places and acknowledges the evidence that most smokers want to quit, but need to be nudged.
“Community support for smoke free spaces is higher than ever, with majority non-smokers and fewer than 15 per cent of the adult population smoking daily.”
Around 3700 Queenslanders die from a tobacco-related disease each year. About 370 of these deaths are caused by second-hand smoke exposure.
Smokers can obtain free information, practical assistance and support from Quitline, 13 QUIT (13 7848), or join the QUEST to quit at www.quest.org.au.