March 12, 2020
Cigarettes near £13 a pack as local authorities roll out vaping support for quitters
Last week’s Budget saw another hike on the price of cigarettes as the average price of a premium pack of 20 went from £12.43 to £12.76.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s announcement came on world No Smoking Day and also saw a rise in rolling tobacco prices which, in supermarkets, will now cost £12.47 to £15.60 according to the Sun.
Campaigners – who had also been asking for a £300m tax on tobacco company profits – hope the move will encourage more smokers to quit and it came in a busy week for government and local authorities in funding e-cigarette-related anti-smoking initiatives.
East Midlands Cancer Alliance is funding a 12-week stop smoking programme which will provide 87,000 e-cigarettes to Northampton smokers to help them quit.
Northampton County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing Ian Morris told the Northampton Chronicle: “While not risk-free, vaping is considerably safer than smoking. The consequences of continuing to use tobacco – which kills one out of every two lifetime users – far exceeds any potential harm posed by e-cigarettes”.
In January, a report from ASH and Cancer Research UK urged more local authorities to use e-cigarettes to help smokers quit. Ut found that only 11% of local authorities currently offer e-cigarette starter packs as part of their stop smoking services.