Budget 2012 - Smokers will have to cough up more

21 March 2012

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.

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