Smokers hit with rise in tobacco excise

SMOKERS will be hit with a rise in tobacco excise whether they vote for Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott, after the Opposition leader confirmed he was "reluctant" to roll back Labor increases to the tax.

Mr Abbott on Thursday said the Coalition would not commit to cutting a Labor Government excise increase on tobacco.

"Given there is a budget emergency, we are going to be very reluctant to reject measures, even measures like this that we don't like," he said.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced the rise in tobacco tax would raise some $5.3 billion over four years when the move was revealed two weeks ago.

The rise in tobacco excise will add an extra 60% to the cost of cigarettes and pouches of tobacco, forming the biggest single rise to any tax taken by the Federal Government.

It will be rolled out over four years, with 12.5% to be added to tobacco products each year from December 1 this year.

For smokers, the first rise is expected to add about $1 to a packet of 20 cigarettes.



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