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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-tobacco-duty-rates-from-11-march-2020/tobacco-products-duty-rates-for-2020
Who is likely to be affected
Manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers and consumers of tobacco products. Tobacco products include cigarettes, cigars, hand-rolling tobacco, other smoking tobacco and chewing tobacco, tobacco for heating and herbal smoking products.
General description of the measure
This measure sets out how tobacco duties will increase this year.
The government is committed to maintaining high tobacco duty rates as this is an established tool to reduce smoking prevalence and to ensure that tobacco duties continue to contribute to government revenues.
Background to the measure
As announced at Budget 2020 the duty rate on all tobacco products will continue to increase by 2% above Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation. It was also announced that hand-rolling tobacco will rise by an additional 4%, to 6% above RPI inflation this year.
The new tobacco duty rates will have effect from 6pm on 11 March 2020.
The table of duty rates on tobacco products is in Schedule 1 to the Tobacco Products Duty Act 1979 (TPDA).
Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2020 to increase the rates of duty on tobacco products. The legislation will amend Schedule 1 to the TPDA.
Summary of impacts
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These figures are set out in Table 2.1 of Budget 2020 and have been certified by the Office for Budget Responsibility. More details can be found in the policy costings document published alongside Budget 2020.
This measure is not expected to have any significant macroeconomic impacts. If passed on to consumers, the increases in tobacco duty rates will lead to a very small positive impact on inflation. A behavioural adjustment is made to account for the reduction in consumption resulting from higher prices.
Impact on individuals, households and families
Assuming duty increases are passed on to consumers, this measure will impact on individuals who smoke by increasing the price of tobacco products. Heavy smokers will face the highest burden from this measure.
In response to higher prices, some individuals could choose to consume less, some could down-trade from more expensive to cheaper tobacco products, and others could engage in cross border shopping or purchase from the illicit tobacco market. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will monitor and respond to any potential shift in illicit consumption as part of its strategy to combat tobacco fraud.
Customer experience is expected to stay broadly the same as this measure only increases the price of tobacco products.
The measure is not expected to impact on family formation, stability or breakdown.
Due to differences in tobacco consumption, any change to tobacco duties will have equalities impacts. Men are slightly more likely to smoke than women. Younger people are also more likely to smoke than older people.
Impact on business including civil society organisations
This measure is expected to have a negligible impact on fewer than 30 manufacturers and importers. They will face an increase in tobacco duty rates that they are likely to pass onto consumers. There will be a negligible one-off cost to these businesses of familiarisation and amending systems to reflect the new rate. It is not expected there will be any on-going costs. Customer experience is expected to stay broadly the same as this measure does not present a significant change for tobacco manufacturers and importers.
There is no impact on civil society organisations.
Operational impact (£m) (HMRC or other)
HMRC will incur a negligible cost for changing tobacco duties.
Health impact assessment: any reduction in smoking prevalence will have a positive impact on health and reduce the cost to the NHS of smoking-related illness. There may be reductions in other costs that arise from tobacco use. These costs include losses in productivity from smoking breaks and ill-health absences, the cost of cleaning up cigarette butts, the cost of smoking-related house fires and the loss in economic output from people who die from diseases related to smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke.
Other impacts have been considered and none have been identified.
Monitoring and evaluation
The measure will be monitored through information collected from tax receipts.
If you have any questions about this change, please contact the Excise and Customs Helpline on Telephone: 0300 200 3700.