The Government will introduce staged 12.5 per cent increases in tobacco excise over the next four years to battle smoking-related cancer and help return the Federal Budget to surplus in 2016-17.
Smoking kills over 15,000 Australians every year and is one of the leading preventable causes of death and disease in Australia.
We know that increasing excise is the single most effective way for government to reduce premature death and disease due to smoking. We expect it to be particularly effective in dropping the number of young people who smoke.
Over 750,000 hospital bed days per year are attributable to tobacco-related disease and smoking has been estimated to cost over $31 billion a year.
The increases in tobacco excise will raise $5.3 billion over the forward estimates for the Commonwealth Budget.
The increases will commence on 1 December 2013, with further increases on 1 September 2014, 1 September 2015, and 1 September 2016. These are in addition to the increases that will occur under indexation arrangements.
The increase in excise serves several purposes – it will provide funds for cancer and stroke related health services, it will deter young people from taking up smoking, and it will help return the Budget to surplus.
This is a significant public health measure that will also help to build on the Government's record investment of an extra $4.1 billion for world class cancer care here in Australia since 2007.
Australians would agree that we need to consider all sorts of measures to reduce the impact of cancer caused by smoking.
The Government has already made large investments in health and hospitals. National Health Reform is providing a minimum of $16.4 billion in new funding for public hospitals over the six years from 2014-15 to 2019-20.
The 2013-14 Budget also included a $226.4 million investment in cancer care.
1 August 2013