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Big tobacco tax rise ‘backed by majority of Scots’

The majority of respondents to the survey backed a big rise in tobacco taxes. Picture: Jane Barlow

The majority of respondents to the survey backed a big rise in tobacco taxes. Picture: Jane Barlow

MORE than half of Scots want to see above-inflation tax rises on tobacco every year, according to a new survey.

53 per cent of the population support raising the tax on tobacco by 5 per cent more than the rate of inflation, according to the YouGov poll of 1,064 people commissioned by anti-smoking campaigners ASH Scotland. Only 18 per cent of current smokers back the proposal.

ASH Scotland chief executive Sheila Duffy welcomed the findings, released on World No Tobacco Day, insisting upping the taxes on tobacco is the “most effective way to cut tobacco use and save lives”.

Just over a fifth (21 per cent) of Scots disagreed with the suggestion that taxes on tobacco should rise by 5 per cent above inflation every year.

The same proportion of ex-smokers were opposed to such tax rises, with 51 per cent of those who have given up supporting the idea.

But among current smokers, 65 per cent were against the idea of raising tobacco taxes by 5 per cent more than inflation.

Tobacco tax rise ‘as popular as mansion tax’

The poll also found that 69 per cent of respondents backed raising tobacco taxes to help the government cut the deficit. The suggestion was as popular as a “mansion tax” on properties worth more than £2 million; only an increased tax on bank bonuses was more popular..

Ms Duffy said: “We are pleased that people in Scotland recognise the importance of increasing tobacco taxes.

“It is the most effective way to cut tobacco use and save lives. It is a measure that has a significant impact on public health and is highly cost-effective, inexpensive and easy to implement.

“Countries around the world have successfully increased tobacco taxes, decreased tobacco use and brought in significant new Government revenue.”

 

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