Packets of cigarettes will cost more than £16 on average after new Budget duty bump

The price of an average packet of cigarettes is set to top £16 after the Chancellor introduced a one-off increase in tobacco duty in today’s Budget.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced his intention to increase the average price of tobacco in his Budget earlier today.

This increase will push the average cost of 20 cigarettes past the £16 mark, a sizable increase from its previous mean price of £15.26 in January, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Hunt also announced the introduction of an excise duty on vaping products from October 2026 and a consultation on the design of vaping products.

Vaping products are currently subject to VAT at 20 percent but are not subject to excise duty.

These announcements have come on the heels of the Government publishing its plans to ban disposable vapes and bring in new powers to restrict vape flavours and packaging.

The Government made this decision in response to a high rate of underage vaping as well as health concerns given the lack of available research on the health implications of e-cigarettes in the long-term.

The Government also announced its intention to make it impossible for those under 15 to legally purchase tobacco products going forward in an effort to phase the habit out for future generations.

During his speech Hunt told the Commons that the increase in tobacco duty is to keep the pricing of cigarettes higher than vaping equipment as vapes “play a positive role” in helping smokers quit.

Dan Marchant, director of Vape Club and founding member of the UK Vaping Industry Association, told the MailOnline: “The government needs to be extremely careful that they do not shoot their own Smokefree 2030 plans in the foot, and any taxation needs to be considered very carefully.

“Outside of the harm reduction benefits, the next biggest motivational factor for smokers switching to vaping is the very significant financial savings.

“The treasury needs to be extremely cautious not to take this away and actually discourage smokers from switching, making the goal of a smoke-free generation unattainable.”


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