To ask the Secretary of State for Health what studies her Department has undertaken to ascertain whether higher taxes are the most effective and fair means of reducing smoking.
§ Mr. Sackville
The Government's assessment of the effectiveness of interventions to reduce smoking is based on critical evaluation of the available research evidence. Studies show that an increase of 10 per cent. in the price of tobacco products can be expected to lead to a drop of between 3 and 6 per cent. in tobacco consumption. There is a significant relationship between price and consumption across the range of income groups. This supports the view that raising tobacco taxation is one of the most important parts of any strategy to reduce smoking.