When will the grasping New labour Government ever learn that simply whacking a rip-off rise onto cigarettes just doesn't work in getting smokers to stop?
I'm a smoker myself and intend to give up in the near future. I'm giving up because I don't want to stink of smoke any more, because I fear for my long term health and because I'm moving in with a non smoker and don't want her to have to put up with my fumes (not that I smoke indoors anyway). I'm not giving up because my cigarettes will cost an extra 11p a packet.
When I take a holiday in Poland I can buy Benson & Hedges menthol for under a Pound a packet. These are made in the UK but not for sale here, if they were they would be about £5.50 a pack. I don't smoke any more than I do in the UK as price is simply not the issue.
If darling is serious about cutting the number of smokers then he should make all cessation products completely VAT free and add resources to the NHS to give more advice and support to those trying to quit not hike prices and pretending that it's an incentive to help people quit.
Rant over but probably more on the budget later.