Cigarettes ‘Set For Biggest Price Rise Ever’ Next Month

A pack of cigarettes is reportedly set for its biggest price rise ever next month. 
Credit: Alamy

A pack of cigarettes is reportedly set for its biggest price rise ever next month. 

Although it’s common knowledge that smoking is bad for you, people continue to smoke.

In order to make smokers think about quitting, it’s apparently going to become an even more expensive habit to keep up.

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Next month, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is reportedly planning on raising tobacco duty – which means a 20-pack of cigarettes will rise by £1.15 next month.

In line with the Retail Price Index (RPI), cigarette levies will also go up by 12.7% – as well as an extra minimum of 2% on top, which is applied to tobacco products.

If all these plans go ahead amid the spring budget, the price of a pack could jump by more than 15%, as per The Sun.

While a 30g pack of hand-rolling tobacco could go up to £2.

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All of this would result in the biggest increase in the price of cigarettes the UK has ever seen.

At this moment in time, the duty paid on cigarettes is 16.5% of the retail price, as well as an extra £5.26 for a packet of 20.

Unless the chancellor intervenes, the amount of duty paid on cigarettes usually increases with inflation each year.

Last year, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – who was a chancellor at the time – announced in his spring statement that cigarette prices would not go up in price as a part of his budget.

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak announced that cigarette prices would not go up in price as a part of his budget. Credit: Alamy

However, over the last 20 years or so, the government has actively been working towards a ‘smoke-free’ country by 2030.

This would mean less than 5% of adults in the UK smoke.

News of the potential price increase has been met with criticism by some, who argue that smokers are already paying enough tax for their habit.

The operation manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Benjamin Elks, says: “Smokers already pay vast sums to the Treasury.

“Tobacco taxes are high enough, without yet another damaging increase. The government should freeze tobacco duty.”

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However, the Chief Executive of Action on Smoking & Health (ASH), Deborah Arnott, says the ASH is ‘disappointed’ it hasn’t happened sooner.

She says (via Birmingham Live): “ASH is disappointed that the Chancellor hasn’t increased taxes on cigarettes by per cent above inflation as we recommended.

“The government says it is willing to take bold action to make smoking obsolete, which we welcome, but that has to include further tax rises.”

The spring budget is reportedly set for March 15, 2023, and at this moment in time, it’s expected that the chancellor has planned a ‘slimmed down’ budget.

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.