The only way is up - but will price increases deter smokers?
NAMBOUR'S Michele Scoda has tried to give up smoking before but has extra incentive to quit thanks to a continued rise in tobacco tax announced in the Federal Budget.
The tobacco excise will rise by 12.5% in the second of four annual increases, which will push the price of a packet of cigarettes up by $1.41 this year and will likely see a packet of 25 rise from around $30 now to to $40 by 2020.
Ms Scoda, 58, has already switched to roll-your-own cigarettes in a bid to curb her smoking expenditure.
She smokes about two full packets of "rollies" a week which costs her about $100 a fortnight.
"I hate it. I want to quit. I could really use that money for other things," she said.
She said she was likely to try to quit smoking again given the announcement of another price increase but would happily continue if not for the expense.
"I did quit, for three-and-a-half weeks, but then I got weak again and thought I may as well.
"I actually enjoy smoking. it's very relaxing but the cost of smoking at the moment is too high for me," she said.
But other smokers are determined to continue their habit despite the price increase.
Jack Fresen, 18, of Gympie, said he would smoke as long as he could keep bumming cigarettes and tobacco from friends.
"I'll probably give up when they get to about $50," he said.
His friend, a mine worker who asked not to be named, said he easily spent a few hundred dollars a week on smoking and said he would continue adjusting his finances to accommodate price increases.
"I'm good at maths. I'll work it out," he said.
The University of the Sunshine Coast's head of health and sports sciences, Professor John Lowe, said price increases would never stamp out smoking altogether but did help reduce it.
"We've got extremely good evidence that, worldwide, when the price has increased, we see a reduction in tobacco use," he said.
Prof Lowe described the 12.5% excise increase as "substantial" and hoped push the rate of smoking among Australians down from 13% to single digits.