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Publication, Part of

Statistics on Smoking, England 2020

Official statistics, National statistics

National Statistics

Part 3: Affordability and expenditure on tobacco

This section looks at the affordability of tobacco and expenditure on tobacco over time.

Links to data on household expenditure on tobacco, availability of tobacco and the illicit tobacco market are provided at the bottom of this page.

Please note that the charts are based on rounded data. Unrounded data are available in the corresponding data tables.

Affordability of tobacco (UK)

Long term trend

In the UK since 1987 (an arbitrarily chosen base year) prices of tobacco, as measured by the tobacco price index, have increased more than the retail price index.

Consequently the Affordability of Tobacco Index has fallen over this period; in other words tobacco has become less affordable. For more information on the Affordability of Tobacco Index see Appendix B: Technical Notes.

Last ten years (2009 to 2019)

Over the last ten years the price of tobacco, based on Tobacco Price Index, has increased by 100%.

The price of tobacco relative to retail prices (Tobacco Price Index Relative to Retail Price Index) increased by 48%, whilst real households’ disposable income increased by 8% over the same period.

As a result, tobacco has become 27% less affordable since 2009.

Expenditure on tobacco (UK)

Expenditure on tobacco as a percent of total household expenditure

Tobacco expenditure as a proportion of total household expenditure has decreased over time. It was 1.4% in 2019, decreasing from 2.8% in 1985 (an arbitrarily chosen base year).

Data on the average weekly household expenditure on cigarettes is provided in the Family spending in the UK reports.

Data on the availability of tobacco is provided in UK Tobacco Duty Statistics which covers duty on cigarettes, cigars, hand rolling tobacco (HRT) and other types of tobacco such as pipe and chewing tobacco.

Data on the illicit tobacco market is provided Tobacco tax gap estimates reports which presents estimates of the tax gap for tobacco products. The tax gap is the difference between the amount of tax that should be collected against what is actually collected.


Last edited: 10 March 2021 2:48 pm