$40 for a pack of cigarettes: ALP plan to curb smoking
SMOKERS will be slugged $40 for a packet of 25 cigarettes if Labor wins the next federal election.
The price rise will stem from a gradual 12.5% increase in the tobacco excise each year from July 2017 to 2020.
The move is seen as a direct counter to any Federal Government plan to potentially raise the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a proposal Labor has said it will not support.
The Opposition said the policy would generate savings of almost $50 billion over the medium term and almost double the rate at which people quit smoking, the ABC reported.
A packet of 25 cigarettes currently costs between $25 and $30.
Ms King said the increase would correspond with advice from the World Health Organisation.
"We have some 2.5 million Australians who continue to smoke and we lose about 15,000 people a year from smoking-related diseases," she said.
"The World Health Organisation will tell us, as our own national tobacco strategy does, that you do need to continue to ramp up the excise on cigarettes if you are going to continue to drive smoking rates down."
Imperial Tobacco Australia claims that Labor's policy to dramatically increase tobacco excise will be applauded by organised crime groups who are already making a fortune from trade in illicit tobacco.
Imperial's Head of Corporate and Legal Affairs Andrew Gregson said excise and illicit trade were directly linked.
"Ridiculously high levels of excise are precisely what drives the illicit tobacco trade," he said.
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