Government needs to make tobacco 'less affordable'

THE Australian Government should back up its outstanding record in tobacco control and announce a significant increase in the excise on cigarettes and other tobacco products, Cancer Council Queensland have said.

Cancer Council CEO Professor Ian Olver, said price control through excise was by far the most effective public health measure to bring down smoking rates, particularly among young people and people on lower incomes.

"Evidence shows that the increase in excise in 2010 has driven down tobacco consumption by around 11 per cent," Professor Olver said.

"The Preventative Health Taskforce, and our own evidence-based recommendations, have always been clear that the 2010 increase was the first of at least two phases required to bring excise in line with best practice.

"A significant increase would prevent many thousands of Australian deaths - it is the best step the government could take to reduce the burden of 16 cancer types caused by smoking."

If you smoke, how would more costly tobacco products affect you?

This poll ended on 01 August 2013.

Current Results

It wouldn't affect me, I'd just pay more and keep smoking


I'd keep smoking but take money from other parts of my budget


It would put me off smoking a little


I'd cut down on the number of cigarettes I smoke


I'd give serious thought to quitting


I'd definitely quit


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mr Olver said the higher the price for tobacco products, the better the health outcomes.

"The government should increase the excise by at least 10 per cent over each of the next four years. The bigger the increase, the better the health benefit," he said.

"Discouraging tobacco use by increasing the excise is particularly effective among people on lower incomes, who bear the brunt of tobacco disease burden in Australia, and young people.

"A typical pack of cigarettes costs less than going to a movie. The government needs to make dangerous, addictive tobacco products less affordable for vulnerable Australians.

"The Australian Government is rightly seen as a world leader in reducing the terrible harms of tobacco use, with groundbreaking initiatives such as plain packaging for tobacco products and an unprecedented investment in social marketing."

Mr Olver said increasing the excise would ultimately save lives.

"It's time to take the next big, courageous step - make tobacco products less affordable, and help thousands of addicted smokers break a habit that will consign them to a premature cancer death," he said.

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