Yesterday, during the 2018 Budget announcements in Parliament, Chancellor Philip Hammond declared that once again the cost of tobacco would rise. The result of this hike, which went live from 6pm on 29th October, is that the average twenty pack of tobacco cigarettes will now cost over £10 a pack, with a rise of around £24p per pack. This hike was not unexpected as prices have risen annually. This year, tobacco rose two percent on top of the rate of inflation.
Concerns Over 2018 Budget Price Hikes
There have been many complaints from smokers and tobacco groups about this price rise. There are concerns that smokers will be tempted or even pushed into buying black market cigarettes, putting themselves at risk, due to affordability issues.
While we understand that a 24p hike is a lot, there is an alternative, and certainly a better alternative than buying illegal cigarettes and landing in trouble.
Vaping as a Cheaper & Recommended Alternative
Vaping is considerably cheaper than smoking, especially in the long run. A basic starter kit may cost £20-£25 however a kit lasts longer, certainly longer than something set on fire and inhaled! With special offers, bulk buys on e liquid and cheap e liquids available, you can see where the savings can be made.
Public Health England, the government agency in charge of the Go Smoke Free ban of 2007 and for Stoptober as well as having overall responsibility for public health matters states that vaping is “at least 95 less harmful than tobacco smoking”. As such PHE has made recommendations to the government to make vaping more accessible with the end goal to help more and more smokers walk away from the clearly dangerous smoking habit and over to the cheaper and clearly less harmful option.
An increase in anyone’s daily spending is not ideal however, there are other options and healthier ones than that. It is naive to suggest that smokers just give up as quitting smoking is incredibly hard for a number of reasons. It is hoped that from a health point of view that smokers will be moved by the public health campaigns which make clear the dangers of smoking and want to take action. Even if they only consider switching to vaping to save money, it is still a win for their health.
Here at 99p e liquids we are not a fan of any government raising taxes. The tobacco levy, however, was not unexpected and in the short and long-term may encourage more smokers to quit and live healthier lives. This will also benefit the environment, their families and friends and of course the NHS which spends billions on smoking-related admissions, treatments, appointments and more.
Time will tell if the 2018 budget tobacco price hike will speed up the already declining numbers of adults smoking in the UK.