Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

STEEP in­creases in the cost of cig­a­rettes are start­ing to bite smok­ers, ac­cord­ing to a Can­cer Coun­cil WA (CCWA) study. The coun­cil sur­veyed smok­ers be­fore the first tax rise in 2013 and 20 per cent of those said the in­crease would force them to con­sider quit­ting. Af­ter two years, 40 per cent of those sur­veyed said it had made an im­pact on their smok­ing habits. There is an­other ex­cise in­crease on Septem­ber 1. The CCWA said both ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties had pledged to in­crease tobacco ex­cise by 12.5 per cent each year from 2017 to 2020 as part of their elec­tion cam­paigns. The CCWA says those in­creases will take the cost of a pack of cig­a­rettes to $40 by 2020 and pre­dicts it will cost the av­er­age smoker $14,000 a year to feed their habit. It is es­ti­mated there are 250,000 smok­ers in WA and up to 160,000 of them will die due to a smok­ing-caused dis­ease if they do not quit. Rick Lee, - re­gional ed­i­tor

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