Of course the present tax on each packet would have to be removed, which even with the health surcharge would more than halve the price, and the shortfall to the Exchequer would mean a sharp increase in income tax rates all round. However, this would be much fairer than the present situation, as the tax on tobacco is the most regressive of all. At present, low-income smokers subsidise the health care of middle-class non-smokers, and then get told by newspaper editors that they should be at the back of the health queue because of their habit.
The Rev DAVID E FLAVELL
Peterlee, Co DurhamReuse content