Is this the final nail in the coffin for this bad habit?

Cigarettes prices have risen again with smokers feeling the burn of a 12.5 per cent tax hike that came in with the start of the month. The new increase takes smokes up from $23.65 to $27.

There’s worse to come for those who enjoy a smoke, with a standard packet of 25 expected to cost $30 by this time next year, according to Cancer Council NSW figures supplied to Daily Mail Australia.

Health experts have welcomed the price increase – supported by Labor, the Liberals and the Greens – as the best way to stop people smoking.

The Cancer Council say that adult smoking rates have been declining since the mid 1970s and they attribute the decline to be a likely result of sustained government tobacco control strategies such as high tobacco taxes, advertising bans, mass media public education campaigns and smoke-free environments legislation.

Smoking kills an estimated 15,000 Australians each year.

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So are there really any losers with this most recent price hike? As cigarettes become prohibitively expensive, more smokers will feel the pinch and refuse to cough up, leading to a decline in smoking, which will ultimately save lives.

Surely young people are more likely to want to go to the cinema or top up their mobile phone than light up – and that has to be a good thing doesn’t it?

The price hike may be hard to take for some, but the fact is that a pack-a-day smoker could save more than $7000 a year by ditching the habit.

Will this price-rise and the dawn of the $30 pack herald the death of smoking? Did you smoke – what made you quit? What else can be done to stub out this habit for good?