As predicted Smokers will be forced to pay even more for their habit after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt raised tobacco duty in his Spring Budget.
The price of a 20-pack is set to soar past the £14 mark, stretching the budgets of more than 6 million UK smokers a little further. Jeremy Hunt confirmed the price hike as part of the Spring Budget in the House of Commons, and they came into effect at 6pm on Wednesday 15th March.
The cigarette levy is set to go up by 10.1% in line with the Retail Price Index, plus an additional 2% on top.
As we move towards the target of 2030 for England to be smoke-free expect prices to continue to increase, this beggars the question, what will it take for you to quit smoking?
If you’ve never tried to quit I’m sure you have thought about it before, after all, nobody wants to die a slow death of smoking related illnesses. Yet millions continue to smoke knowing the consequences, the reason being smoking is so addictive because of the high nicotine content.
Psychologically it’s a lot more than that for many smokers, it’s the social aspect, the routine of smoking and the hand to mouth action. This is what makes Nicotine Replacement Therapy such a limited success rate e.g. patches, lozenges, gum and throat spray etc.
Switching from tobacco to vaping
The difference between smoking and vaping is that smoking delivers nicotine by burning tobacco, which can cause smoking-related illnesses, and vaping can deliver nicotine by heating a liquid in a much less harmful way.
Smoking and vaping both deliver nicotine.
The difference is cigarettes deliver it by burning tobacco, which creates many harmful toxins. Vaping delivers nicotine in e-liquid, which is a much less harmful way.
While nicotine is addictive, it doesn’t cause cancer. Understand nicotine and vaping. ‘Some people get addicted to nicotine after smoking just few cigarettes.’
In smoking, the amount of nicotine in cigarettes is generally fixed, and how much you get depends on how you smoke. In vaping, the amount of nicotine depends on the strength of e-liquid you choose, and how you vape.
The healthiest option is not to vape or smoke. Don’t vape if you don’t smoke, only vape to quit smoking.
The biggest criticism I hear from smokers is “I tried an e-cigarette once and it just made me cough” now think back to when you had your first cigarette, did you cough? Vaping is a safer nicotine delivery device thus works differently, do not let this put you off, I made the same mistake.
Researchers at King’s College London said smokers who switched to vaping would experience a “substantial reduction” in their exposure to toxic substances that cause cancer, lung and cardiovascular disease, but they strongly urged non-smokers not to take up either habit.
Ann McNeill, a professor of tobacco addiction at King’s and lead author on the study, said smoking was “uniquely deadly”, killing half of all regular, long-term smokers, but that a survey in England found alarmingly two-thirds of adult smokers were unaware vaping was less harmful.
More people are turning to food banks for the first time
New figures released by the Trussell Trust this week revealed food banks across the UK handed out almost 2.2 million emergency food parcels last year.
Between April and August 2022, over half of food banks surveyed by IFAN found 25% or more of the people they supported hadn’t used their services before.
There are also signs that a wider range of the population is resorting to using food banks – social workers, public sector workers, teachers and people in employment more generally. In June 2022, the National Union of Students carried out a survey of 3,417 students and apprentices. Roughly 11% of respondents had used a food bank, up from 5% in January.
Families with children are reportedly utilising uniform banks as well as food banks.
Within the context of high inflation and energy costs, charities anticipate demand for food banks will rise further.
The price increase in cigarettes will push more people into poverty and I would urge anyone still smoking while struggling to make ends meet, consider switching to vaping to save money if you’ve found it impossible to quit the deadly habit. If you are a couple who smoke, the money saved would be doubled.
With the costs of an average smoker to hit £2500 per year vaping remains at approximately £900 a year. This benefits your finances and more importantly your health.