Budget 2012 - Smokers will have to cough up more
Smokers will have to pay nearly £7.50 for a packet of cigarettes after Chancellor Gordon Osborne raised the tobacco duty by 5% above inflation.
That adds 37p to the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes, taking the average price of a packet to £7.40.
"Smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature death in the UK," said Osborne.
"There is clear evidence that increasing the cost of tobacco encourages smokers to quit and discourages young people from taking it up."
The rise comes in from 6pm tonight.
However, Osborne went easy on drinkers in the Budget, as he announced that alcohol duties would keep in line with current increases. Taxes on alcohol will rise by 2% above inflation, putting more than 5p on the price of a pint.
An increase in the general level of prices that persists over a period of time. The inflation rate is a measure of the average change over a period, usually 12 months. If inflation is up 4%, this means the price of products and services is 4% higher than a year earlier, requiring we spend and extra 4% to buy the same things we bought 12 months ago and that any savings and investments must generate 4% (after any taxes) to keep pace with inflation. Since 2003, the Bank of England has used the consumer prices index (CPI) as its official measure of inflation (see also retail prices index).