Smoking will be more expensive again from today, largest price increase ever | RTL News

Smoking will be more expensive again from today, largest price increase ever | RTL News
Smoking will be more expensive again from today, largest price increase ever | RTL News
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The excise duty on tobacco has increased significantly today. A pack of cigarettes now costs an average of 11.10 euros, an increase of more than 2 euros. A 50 gram pack of rolling tobacco now costs an average of 24.62 euros. According to tobacco manufacturers, the excise tax increase will cause the largest price increase ever. Because retailers still have stock, it may take some time before consumers pay that higher price.

The government’s measures are intended to create a ‘smoke-free generation’ by 2040. The aim is that by then only a maximum of 5 percent of the population will smoke, and that young people will then no longer smoke at all. This intention is stated in the National Prevention Agreement from 2018.

Support and criticism

The Heart Foundation, KWF Cancer Control and the Lung Fund are happy with the price increase. They point out that making tobacco more expensive is the most effective measure against smoking.

There is also criticism of the measures from tobacco manufacturers and retailers who sell tobacco. Jan Hein Sträter, director of the Association of Dutch Cigarette and Cut Tobacco Manufacturers (VSK), tells BNR that he fears that Dutch people will buy their rolling tobacco, cigarettes and cigars abroad from now on. “A quarter of the cigarettes smoked in the Netherlands already come from abroad. For roll-your-own tobacco, this even amounts to 37 percent. This will only increase.”

According to Sträter, a pack of cigarettes in Germany is now 3.80 euros cheaper and rolling tobacco 15 euros cheaper.

Research has shown that making tobacco more expensive works well to discourage smoking. That is why the government has increased the price considerably in recent years. In 2017, a pack of 20 cigarettes still cost an average of 6.19 euros. The popularity of smoking is also combated by a ban on advertising for smoking, and the mandatory display of deterrent photos on packages of diseases caused by smoking.

Annual increase

Marc Willemsen, professor of tobacco control at Maastricht University, says in the Volkskrant that ‘annual increases of at least 10 percent’ work well against smoking. With a 10 percent increase, the number of smokers will drop by 4 percent, he says. “Half of this reduction is due to people who quit smoking due to the price increase, and the other half is due to people who do not start because of the higher price.”

According to the Trimbos Institute’s Health Survey, 18.9 percent of Dutch people still smoked in 2022. In 2014 that was still 25.7 percent. In 2018, 22.4 percent of the population regularly smoked. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment has calculated that 20,000 people in the Netherlands die every year as a result of smoking.

Vaping

The Trimbos Institute recently published figures that it called ‘alarming’ about young people who not only smoke tobacco, but also use vapes: “21.7 percent of Dutch youth and young adults (12 to 25 years) have used an e-cigarette in the past year. Almost a third (27.4 percent) has smoked cigarettes. And 69.1 percent of young people who use an e-cigarette monthly also smoke cigarettes monthly.”

In the Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen, there are 500 factories where vapes are made continuously. They reach buyers all over the world via the internet, including in the Netherlands.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Smoking expensive today largest price increase RTL News

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