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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

 

‘£10 licence to smoke’ proposed

‘Smokers could be forced to pay £10 for a permit to buy tobacco if a government health advisory body gets its way.

No one would be able to buy cigarettes without the permit, under the idea proposed by Health England.

Its chairman, Professor Julian Le Grand, told BBC Radio 5 Live the scheme would make a big difference to the number of people giving up smoking.

But smokers’ rights group Forest described the idea as “outrageous”, given how much tax smokers already pay. [..]

He said it was the inconvenience of getting a permit – as much as the cost – that would deter people from persisting with the smoking habit.

“You’ve got to get a form, a complex form – the government’s good at complex forms; you have got to get a photograph.

“It’s a little bit of a problem to actually do it, so you have got to make a conscious decision every year to opt in to being a smoker.”‘




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