Smokers to pay up to £12.73 for cigarettes from 6pm today after budget hike

Smokers will have to fork out an extra 27p per pack of cigarettes from 6pm today after the latest budget was announced.

During today's announcement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he'd be increasing the cost of fags by 2 per cent above the inflation rate of 1.8 per cent.

It is part of a long-term quest to clamp down on smoking habits.

According to The Sun the rise means that the average pack of the most expensive cigarettes in the UK's biggest four supermarkets will jump from £12.46 to £12.73

Meanwhile the average pack of the cheapest will rise from £8.82 to £9.10.

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Simon Clark, director of smokers' group Forest, told the paper: "This is another kick in the teeth for poorer smokers in particular.

"If the Conservatives want to keep their ‘red wall’ seats they need to show a lot more empathy for ordinary working people, including the millions of adults who enjoy smoking.

"Further increases in tobacco duty discriminate against those who are less well off.

"In addition to forcing some smokers further into poverty, it will encourage illicit trade which puts smokers at even greater risk from counterfeit tobacco.

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"The Chancellor had an opportunity to stand up for consumers who are willing to pay their fair share of tax but object to being punished for a habit that already earns the Treasury over £10billion a year. Sadly he flunked it."

But Amanda Sandford, of Action on Smoking and Health, said: "It is naturally hard to inhale smoke and for many the first time they smoke it is repugnant, but people persevere with it and that's when they become addicted.

"There is evidence that menthol cigarettes relax the airways and the flavour masks the harshness of the smoke, therefore younger people find it easier to smoke. However, it is an absolute myth that menthol cigarettes are better for you.

"All cigarettes are harmful and menthol cigarettes are just as dangerous as normal cigarettes."

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