Queensland smokers will pay up to $2.81 more for a packet of cigarettes from today, with the tobacco excise rising 12.5 per cent nationally.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift welcomed the increase, saying price control through excise was the most effective public health measure to bring down smoking rates.
“Research shows the tobacco excise increase in 2010 caused smoking rates to decline by about 11 per cent,” Ms Clift said.
“Evidence also indicates that a tax increase on cigarettes is particularly effective among people on lower incomes and young people across Australia.
“There has been no better time to give up smoking – for your hip pocket, your health, and the health of your friends and family.”
Cancer Council Queensland again urged the State Government to continue effective quit smoking measures by introducing new laws creating designated smoke free public places across Queensland.
“We need strong action on smoking to continue to save the lives of Queenslanders,” Ms Clift said.
“Smoke free spaces will protect people from the harmful effects of smoking, encourage more smokers to quit, and prevent more young people from taking up this lethal habit.
“We call on the State Government to deliver on its commitment to protect the health of all Queenslanders by fast-tracking the creation of smoke free bus stops, taxi ranks, ferry terminals, and pedestrian malls.”
It’s estimated around 3400 Queenslanders will die from a tobacco-related disease each year. About 300 of these deaths are caused by second-hand smoke exposure.
Almost one in five of all male deaths in Queensland and one in 10 female deaths are caused by smoking each year, and 46 per cent of smoking related deaths occur in people under the age of 75.
Smokers can obtain free information, practical assistance and support from Quitline, 13 QUIT (13 7848), or join the QUEST to quit at www.quest.org.au.
For interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland
Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171