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Australia Raises Tobacco Tax

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Australian smokers will now pay an extra 12.5 percent in tobacco tax following an increase in excise duty.

A 25 pack of Marlboro Gold cigarettes now costs an average of $48.50 (£26) while a 20 pack costs around $35 after the tobacco tax hike took effect on Tuesday. 

Over the course of a year, a pack a day smoker will spend an average of $12,500 (£6,867).

Tobacco tax generates $17 billion in revenue and contributes to declining smoking rates, according to the Cancer Council Victoria. 

A study from the charity revealed that between April 2020 and April 2017, smoking prevalence fell from 17.8 of the population to 13.3 percent, which is around 890,000 fewer Australians.

Meanwhile, four times as many Australians have tried to quit smoking during the Covid-19 pandemic, health minister Greg Hunt revealed.

Smokers who contract the virus may experience much more severe symptoms.

Hunt said:

“Smokers are more likely to have lung damage or lung disease, which greatly increases the risk of serious illness should they contract Covid-19.

“When someone smokes, their fingers make contact with their lips. This may increase the chances of transmitting the virus from their hand to their mouth.”

The Australian government remains hostile to e-cigarettes despite their contribution to declining tobacco sales elsewhere.

Hunt was forced to delay the ban on liquid nicotine imports until 2021 following backlash from vaping advocates and coalition MPs.

The minister said that the ban will now take effect on January 1, with a ‘streamlined process’ provided for vapers to get a prescription from their GP. 

Source: Yahoo Finance

Header Image by Patty Jansen from Pixabay

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