HC Deb 25 February 1901 vol 89 cc1042-3

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the increase of cigarette smoking among young boys of all classes, he will take into consideration the advisability of imposing a special tax upon tobacco sold as cigarettes, or upon the paper used in their manufacture.


Before-answering that question, I wish to know whether it has been brought to the right hon. Gentleman's notice that these cigarettes are sold in sweet-shops at the rate of ten for a penny, and recently have been offered at ten for a halfpenny.


I do not think that any amount of taxation would stop boys from smoking, especially if they are forbidden to do so; while, on the other hand, I am advised that the adoption of the hon. Member's suggestions would derange the whole system of the taxation of tobacco in this country, and cast an unfair burden upon the adult smoker of cigarettes. I fear therefore I cannot hold out any hopes that they will be adopted.