House of Lords written question – answered at on 30 June 2011.

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Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird UUP

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the current level of taxation on tobacco has reduced the amount of smoking; and, if not, why not.

Photo of Lord Sassoon Lord Sassoon The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government are committed to maintaining high levels of tobacco duty to contribute to wider efforts to tackle the deficit and support the Government's health objectives. The UK has some of the highest priced cigarettes and tobacco products in the EU and the current level of taxation helps to reduce the affordability of smoking, and discourages smoking.

Smoking prevalence among adults in Great Britain is estimated at 21 per cent, down from around 40 per cent 30 years ago.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No3 people think not

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Dick Puddlecote
Posted on 2 Jul 2011 4:50 pm (Report this annotation)

Lord Sassoon is very selective in the timeframe chosen. The decline over those 30 years was gained by education and calm policies to persuade the young not to commence smoking.

Recent harsh initiatives have seen the trend stall. People simply refuse to be bullied, it's a natural human trait.

I'll answer Lord Laid's question. The current level has not done so, it has merely re-encouraged cross-border purchases, smuggling and the counterfeit industry. Why not? Because government have jumped the shark on tobacco policy and don't now carry with them the full support of smokers.