Responding to today's budget (Wednesday 21 March), the British Medical Association (BMA) said the government had missed the opportunity to really help people quit smoking.
Dr Sam Everington, Deputy Chairman of the BMA, said: "Reducing the VAT on nicotine replacement therapy is a good way of actively encouraging people to quit smoking. However, we are very disappointed the chancellor didn't go further and increase the duty on tobacco beyond the rate of inflation.
"There is strong evidence that higher prices are one of the most effective ways of helping people give up smoking and preventing young people from starting. An 11p rise on the price of a packet of cigarettes is not enough. The government should be doing all it can to tackle the devastation caused by smoking."