Cheap booze and fags: the last gasp of government health policy | Richard Vize

Drowning our sorrows in duty-free whisky may be the only way to cope but as official policy, it stinks

In a government gearing up for an election, where every statement is supposed to be choreographed as part of a finely tuned grid of speeches and events, it takes a particular stupidity for the chancellor, Sajid Javid, to extol the virtues of cheap cigarettes and booze just as the health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock, was heading for Public Health England’s annual conference.

Having alighted upon what he regards as unequivocally good news about leaving the EU without a deal, Javid announced on Tuesday that people travelling to Europe will be able to buy alcohol and cigarettes without paying UK excise duty.

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