Price of “HIKING” cigarettes: roll-ups in the UK could DOUBLE the price
Campaigners are urging the government to increase the cost of hand-rolled tobacco for millions of UK smokers.
The IRS currently takes 30 pence for every ready-made cigarette – but only takes half for the hand-rolled queer equivalent.
And a shock study found that smokers who roll their own cigarettes are less likely to quit than those who buy 20 packs.
Research among 38,000 Britons found that only one-sixth of those who use loose tobacco are ‘highly motivated to quit’ compared to one-fifth who smoke factory-made cigarettes.
It was discovered that although those who roll their own and those who buy ready-made fags smoke the same amount, cost was the main reason for not wanting to stop.
Hand-held tobacco smokers spend half of what those who smoke packets of cigarettes spend – on average Â£ 14.33 per week compared to Â£ 26.79.
So activists have now called for an increase in taxes on roll-your-own tobacco to get rollie smokers to quit.
Action on Smoking and Health CEO Deborah Arnott said: âThe evidence is clear, access to cheaper roll-your-own tobacco makes it less likely that smokers will quit.
âAnd one of the main reasons factory-made cigarettes are more expensive is taxation.
âThe tax is around 30 pence per cigarette for factory-made cigarettes, compared to less than half for rolling your own cigarettes.
âSignificantly increasing your own taxes to close this gap would be a win-win solution for the government, discouraging smoking while increasing the total tax levy. “
Lead author of the study, Dr Sarah Jackson, senior research associate at the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care at University College London, explained: âThe cost is consistently reported by smokers. as one of the main reasons to quit smoking.
âWith roll-on cigarettes providing a less expensive alternative to factory-made cigarettes, roll-on users may be more able to afford to continue smoking and therefore less inclined to try to quit. “
The Office for National Statistics found that a sixth – 15.1% or 7.4 million – of the British population smoked in 2017.
Although the prevalence of smoking is declining, between 1990 and 2017, the use of hand-held tobacco fell from 2% to 28% among women and from 18% to 44% among men.
Dr Jackson added, âThis switch from factory-made tobacco to rolling tobacco ourselves was what prompted us to study the phenomenon in more detail.
âWith an increasing proportion of the smoker population using self-rolling, it is important to understand the extent to which self-use of roll-your-own tobacco influences smokers’ desire to quit.
“We found that rolling smokers were less motivated to quit and less likely to attempt to quit than smokers of factory-made cigarettes.
“This has important implications for tobacco control policy, given that a key strategy used by governments around the world to reduce smoking is to increase tobacco taxes in order to increase the cost of smoking.”
Cancer Research UK tobacco control expert Kruti Shrotri added: “Roll-on cigarettes are much cheaper, so it’s no surprise that smokers who use these cigarettes are less motivated to quit than those who do. use factory-made ones.
âBut it’s important to know that there is no safe way to use tobacco.
âThe government must raise taxes on hand-rolled tobacco to match the prices of factory-made cigarettes to help motivate smokers to quit, regardless of the type of tobacco they use.
âSmoking is the leading cause of cancer, preventable disease and preventable death.
“We encourage smokers to talk to their local tobacco control service, GP or pharmacist about how they can get help to quit smoking.”