Cigarette packs will cost about 9 euros from Saturday, over 10 euros next year
The excise duty on tobacco will increase by 1.22 euros starting on Saturday. Smokers looking to buy a pack of twenty cigarettes will have to pay an average of about 9 euros. In a year's time, another 1.22 euros will be added to the tax, pushing the price of a pack of cigarettes above an average of 10 euros.
Not all smokers will have to pay more starting on Saturday, the Ministry of Health said. That depends on the brand and the point of sale. Suppliers may continue to sell their remaining stock to tobacconists at the current pricing until June 1 at the latest. "But then that option will have ended and everything must have the new price," said a spokesperson.
The increase in excise duty is intended to reduce the number of smokers. "We know from research that 80 percent of all smokers want to quit. We want to support those people as much as possible to really stop now," said Maarten van Ooijen, the state secretary for public health policy.
The ministry said that the "substantial" price increases this year and next year will help people break their habit. Additionally, cutting down on where cigarettes will be sold also helps, as does further restricting the locations where people are allowed to smoke. Ultimately, it is about creating a situation "so that people are not so tempted to start smoking again."
The increase to the tax on tobacco is a deal struck in the national coalition agreement. Government policy is aimed at ensuring that prevents young people from taking up smoking by 2040. In 2022, 18.9 percent of over-18s were smokers. A year earlier that was 20.6 percent.
Reporting by ANP