Wednesday 15 March 2023

Open season on smokers


The tax on a packet of cigarettes will rise by about £1.30 today thanks to the tobacco duty escalator. If recent history is any guide, the Chancellor won't even mention it because smokers don't matter in Britain in 2023. They are second class citizens to be vilified while the state uses them as cash cows. 

With the 'smoke-free 2030' target treated as if it were an eleventh commandment, rather than a feeble attempt by Theresa May to secure a legacy (and wasn't even in the last Tory manifesto), it's open season on smokers. I'll be speaking on a panel about this at the IEA next Thursday. Feel free to come along.

The blurb...

Is the ongoing war on smoking justified? Is there an alternative to creeping prohibition and infringing on an adult’s right to choose? And what are the implications for future generations if the state controls our lifestyle choices, be it smoking, eating or drinking?

Chaired by Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ rights group Forest, panellists are: Henry Hill, deputy editor of ConservativeHome; Reem Ibrahim, a final year student at the London School of Economics and communications officer at the IEA; Kara Kennedy, staff writer at The Spectator World and author of ‘An ode to smoking’; and Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the IEA.

The discussion starts at 19:00 and will be preceded by drinks from 18:15.

Spaces are limited and will be given on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Please RSVP to or call 020 7799 8900

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