Rejection of tobacco levy is a missed opportunity

8 July 2015        

Cigarettes in an ashtray We’ve expressed our disappointment in the Government for not introducing a levy on tobacco companies as part of the Budget that could have been used to help many of the UK’s smokers to quit.  

We, along with many other public health organisations and charities, have been campaigning for a levy to be imposed on tobacco companies to ensure they take responsibility for the deadly impact of their products. 

The funds generated from the levy would have been used to part fund stop smoking services whose valuable support gives smokers a four times higher chance of success when they attempt to quit. 

Every year in the UK, 100,000 smokers die as a result of smoking, with around 22,000 smoking-related deaths from heart and circulatory disease. The cost of smoking in England alone is estimated to be £12.9 billion per year, £2 billion of which are costs to the NHS for smoking-related illnesses.
Our Director of Policy, Mike Hobday, said: “It’s hugely disappointing that the Chancellor has decided against a levy on tobacco companies, despite more than 120 national and local organisations supporting the measure in the consultation.” 

“Every year around 100,000 smokers die as a result of their habit and the tobacco industry must be held to account for the damage its products are doing to the nation’s health. A levy on tobacco companies would raise vital funds for stop smoking services, whose support significantly increases people’s chances of quitting. But the Government has missed this golden opportunity to support more smokers to quit and help cover the health costs of this deadly habit.”

Help to quit

Smokers are almost twice as likely to suffer a heart attack compared to non-smokers. However, quitting smoking is the single best thing a person can do to improve their heart health. 

Find out how smoking effects your heart health