Cancer Council Australia

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Tobacco excise increase could save 100,000 lives

Up to 100,000 Australian lives could be saved by the cumulative effect of the Australian Government’s 12.5% recurrent increase in tobacco excise, according to Cancer Council estimates.

Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Ian Olver, said estimates based on the impact of price on smoking prevalence show the excise increases announced today would prompt around 210,000 Australian smokers to quit.

“More than half of all long-term smokers will die prematurely of a smoking-caused disease,” Professor Olver said.

“So if people who are prompted to quit by the measure would otherwise have smoked long-term, we can estimate that up to a 100,000 Australians can avoid a premature death.

“Add to this a projection that at least 40,000 fewer kids aged 12 to 17 would be deterred from smoking, and the estimate of 100,000 deaths avoided is conservative.”

Professor Olver said the Australian Government should be commended for taking such a strong measure to bring tobacco excise in Australia into line with best practice.

“The Australian Government has led the world in restricting advertising with its plain packaging laws,” he said.

“The excise increase is a continuation of this outstanding commitment to ridding Australia of the tobacco-caused burden of cancer and other diseases.”

Professor Olver said increasing the cost of tobacco products was particularly effective for people on lower incomes, who bear the brunt of tobacco disease burden in Australia, and young people.

Media contact: 
Hollie Jenkins
02 8063 4153 or
0400 762 010

This page was last updated on: Wednesday, July 31, 2013