A packet of cigarettes costing £24

They don’t cost £24 yet, but the plan in Australia is to keep on increasing the tax on cigarettes until they cost that pretty incredible price of £24.

Why such a steep price? Well Australia is doing a whole swathe of actions to stop people smoking.

Tobacco in Australia

  • The government has committed to reduce the number of adults smoking on a daily basis to 10% by 2018
  • Plain-packaging rules insist that 75% of the front of a cigarette pack is covered by a health warning, and 90% of the back
  • Tobacco taxes rose 25% in 2010, and are now rising 12.5% every year
  • The Tasmanian parliament has discussed a bill that would ban smoking for those born after 2000

It was five years ago that Australia became the first country to make plain cigarette packaging compulsory. Tobacco-advertising has long been banned, and now branding has too. The boxes are a drab, dark brown colour (deemed the ugliest in the world by a team of Australian researchers), they carry no logos, and graphic health warnings cover most of the front of the box. From May 2017 in the UK we will also have plain boxes with no brand advertising.

No smoking sign, Edinburgh Gardens, North Fitzroy, Melbourne
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10 thoughts on “A packet of cigarettes costing £24

  1. This is a smart idea as it will act as a deterrent to people who smoke or want to start. However current smokers will be very angry with this new idea as it will not necessarily cause them to quit and just cost them more money but all in all it should reduce smoking all around the country.

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    • Yes I agree with this idea as Harry said because it seems like it is a good plan. I think cannabis is also a big issue as it may get people angry at the cannabis situation as well as they may feel hard done by, all the cannabis users. I believe this should be made legal as then it is their choice if they would like to inhale it or not and it is a human right. When they make it legal they could put it in green (dark green preferably as it is not as nice a colour) packets and pictures of what it does to you. The government could also make money off this as they could gain tax from the cannabis if they sold it in like corner shops. So yes, it is an interesting issue…

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      • Using cannabis, or any drug intake, is not a human right. It demeans the idea of human rights to imply that drug usage is a human right. Some countries have decriminalised cannabis use, like you are proposing. The arguments for this is that the strain of cannabis can be controlled, the sale of cannabis can be controlled (over 18s) and it can take the drug out of the criminal world. The risks of decriminalising are that you might be sending the message that smoking weed is safe and acceptable in society. The risks of smoking cannabis are that you destroy brain cells and spend so much time spaced out that you don’t focus enough energy on education, work, family, sport, friends, hobbies and love. Your love just becomes hanging out smoking cannabis and feeling stoned. Your life will just float on by… you will miss actually living it.

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  2. I believe that the plan to make cigarettes more expansive is a good idea as it should reduce the amount of people buying them. The health risks that come with smoking are potentially life threatening and by increasing the tax and making the packaging plain so that people see the risks should help reduce the amount of people smoking cigarettes.

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  3. I believe that the amount that they will charge for a pack will encourage people to quick smoking which will decrease the numbers of people dying from lung cancer. However, if people want to smoke it is their decision and I think that increasing the price is harsh for people who may have an addiction.

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  4. I think that this huge price increase is a good idea. It will probably decrease the number of people able to smoke, and therefore reduce the amount of people passively affected. Despite this, surely people with lots of money wouldn’t be affected all that much, and also, the government would receive less money from the profit made off of cigarette sales. The price increase would probably cause unrest amongst tobacco companies, as well, which wouldn’t be a good thing for the government to have to deal with. However, I don’t agree with the Tasmanian government’s idea to ban smoking for those born after 2000. If people want to smoke, it’s their choice (even if it is misguided.)

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    • Excellent point. I agree – the increase in price is a definite step in the right direction. Although, yes, those with a plentiful supply of money will undoubtedly be less affected, the steep increase in price will reduce the total number of smokers in Australia over time, even if the change on a small scale (for example, in a single community) seems insignificant. I am also unsure as to whether the decrease in customers would outweigh the increase in price enough to lead to the government making less profit – I’m guessing that the profit from this increase in price would be more than before, or at least equal to before the price hike.

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  5. I feel that, though quite drastic, this is a step in the right direction. Smoking itself is quite a selfish thing, a costly bad habit which causes so much damage to your body – even those who don’t even smoke! Average people and children are exposed to smoking quite often and as a result can get second hand lung cancer despite the fact that they never made the choice to put their life at risk. I think that we should follow after Australia as these increased prices will hopefully reduce the number of smokers in the UK and could encourage people to satisfy their cravings with the far less harmful E-Cigarette

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  6. Wow that’s a huge amount for one pack. I feel that increasing the cost of cigarettes is good to encourage people to stop smoking as it is bad for health, however as smoking is addictive it may lead people buying the cigarettes despite the price leading to them losing large amounts of money.

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    • This will bring about a reduction in cigarette consumption, helping to reduce smoking-related illnesses. However, for the younger generation to stop smoking, schools must commit to educate students with the knowledge of tobacco hazards.

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