THE controversial tobacco tax has increased, pushing the price for a packet of 30 cigarettes up to around $26.
This week’s price rise is expected to encourage thousands of smokers to finally butt out for good.
Dr Sarah White from Quitline said the organisation is ready for an influx of calls in coming days and weeks.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
“Price is the number one deterrent when it comes to smoking,” she said.
“Fewer and fewer adolescents smoke as the price increases, and more and more smokers try to cut down the number of cigarettes they smoke, or they try to quit.
“So price is absolutely number one in terms of reducing smoking prevalence.”
The federal government introduced legislation to parliament today lifting the tax on tobacco by 12.5 per cent each year from September 2017 up to and including 2020.
That will eventually push up the price of a pack of cigarettes to $40, a move expected to be backed by Labor which announced a similar policy during the last federal election.
Revenue Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said about 1.8 million people or two thirds of Australian smokers were likely to die unless they kicked the habbit.
“Research has shown taxation is one of the most effective ways of reducing tobacco consumption and preventing the uptake of smoking,” she told parliament on Wednesday.