Briefing: the cost of the proposed smoking ban

Executive summary

  • Tobacco duties are forecast to raise £8.9 billion in 2023-24[1]

  • For every year until 2028-29 the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts that the amount raised by tobacco duties will be around £9 billion[2]

  • The cost of smoking per year to the NHS and social care sector is approximately £3 billion,[3] meaning that smokers pay for themselves three times over in a typical year

  • Loss of tobacco receipts could have a material effect on the level of taxation. In 2024-25 alone, receipts from tobacco duty are more than both a 1p increase in the basic and higher rates of income tax as well as a one per cent decrease in the personal allowance[4]





[1] Office for Budget Responsibility, Public finances databank – November 2023, 22 November 2023,, (accessed 24 November 2023).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Department of Health and Social Care, Stopping the start: our new plan to create a smokefree generation, 2023, p. 11,

[4] HM Revenue and Customs, Direct effects of illustrative tax changes bulletin (June 2023), 30 June 2023,, (accessed 16 November 2023).

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