News & Comment

Regulate tobacco companies to limit profits say researchers

Tue 15th January, 2013

The UK government could raise at least £500m a year by capping the amount of profit tobacco companies can make from cigarettes, says academics.

Dr Robert Branston, from the University of Bath, said the tobacco industry was "incredibly profitable", with some companies making 67p in profit out of every £1 received after tobacco duties. He described that as an "incredible sum".

The report calculated the effect of limiting profits to levels achieved by food and drinks manufactures in Europe - between 12% and 20%.

Even accounting for the cost of setting up a regulator and a fall in corporation tax paid by the tobacco companies, the researchers estimated there was a large amount of extra tax to be made.

The Tobacco Manufacturers's Association said the industry was already high taxed and paid more than £12bn to the Exchequer in 2011-12.

It said: "Some popular cigarette brands are already taxed at nearly 90%, yet this report chooses to ignore this fact and instead concentrate on the profit of a legitimate industry which supports over 70,000 UK jobs.

"The tobacco industry supports any regulation which is necessary, proportionate and evidence-based, but not proposals such as these, which fly in the face of common sense."

Source: BBC News (January 15, 2013)

Back to top

In this section

Browse Stories

Share this page

Friends of Forest