Health chiefs in Wolverhampton have welcomed an increase in the duty on tobacco announced in the Budget this week.

Chancellor Philip Hammond's first Autumn budget includes a pledge to raise duty on tobacco by 2% above the rate of inflation - in line with the escalator - with an additional 1% duty also being levied on hand rolling tobacco.

Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Although the percentage of adults smoking in the City of Wolverhampton has dropped dramatically in the last 5 years, rates are still above the national average and so we welcome anything which will encourage people not to smoke.

"Increasing the duty on tobacco makes smoking an even more expensive pastime, and this latest rise is likely to lead to more people either quitting or not taking up smoking in the first place. This can only be a good thing - both for their own health and wellbeing and for their wallet.

"Tobacco use remains the single largest cause of health inequalities and premature death in Wolverhampton, and for every death caused by smoking, another 20 people suffer from smoking related diseases. And it's not just the smokers themselves that suffer; smoking in pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth and neonatal complications.

"There is a wide range of help and support available to people who want to quit through local GPs and pharmacies. They can provide expert advice, support and encouragement to help you stay smokefree, and there are a range of treatments which can support you on your quit journey."

For more information and free support and advice, please visit Type=articles;Articleid=4639;Title=Be Smokefree;.

Although the duty on beer, cider and spirits has been frozen this time, there will be an increase on some high strength drinks, including some white ciders. A 2p increase on a pint of beer and 1p increase in cider was announced in the Spring Budget. A bottle of Scotch whisky was increased by 36p in March.

Councillor Sweet added: "We also welcome the Chancellor's pledge this week to increase duty on high strength drinks, which will help tackle our country's unhealthy relationship with alcohol."

  • released: Friday 24 November, 2017