Cigarette prices will not go up as expected after today's budget announcement.

Many believed Chancellor Rishi Sunak would announce an increase in tobacco duty as part of his statement today.

However, smokers were spared another expensive hike, following last year's increases which included a 2% above inflation rise.

That change saw an average 20-pack of cigarettes shoot up in price from £8.82 to £9.10.

Mr Sunak boosted tobacco duty again on November 16, adding another 22p to the average pack.

Budget generics - Cigarettes
The government has previously pledged to keep raising so-called 'sin taxes' on cigarettes to put people off taking up the habit

The Treasury has now confirmed rates will not be increasing further, given the recent rise.

However, tobacco duty could still be raised in the future, the department added.

It comes after menthol and flavoured cigarettes were banned last year in a bid to curb social smoking.

Menthol cigarettes were made illegal in May, along with skinny cigarettes and flavoured rolling tobacco, when the laws come into force.

Rishi Sunak did not hit smokers with another increase in tobacco duty in this year's budget

The ban, stemming from new EU Tobacco Product Directive laws, formed part of a bid to deter young people from taking up smoking by outlawing cigarettes with a 'characterising flavour' other than tobacco.

It's understood that these cigarettes encourage social smoking among young people - which the government wants to put a stop to.

The plan to phase out flavoured cigarettes completely followed a ban on packs of 10 in May 2017.

All tax increases announced today will go towards the UK's £280billion Covid bill.

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