A packet of cigarettes could cost up to €47 in the Netherlands in 17 years time if junior health minister Maarten van Ooijen has his way, the Telegraaf reported on Wednesday.
Cigarettes are due to go up to €10 a packet next year, but Van Ooijen is keen to follow the Australian system and put the price up so much smokers will give up the habit, the paper said.
The paper bases its claim on sources in The Hague, who said the minister is now discussing his plan with various political parties to see if there is enough support.
Last year, research published by Maastricht University showed that the cost of smoking only becomes an issue for smokers when prices go up by an enormous amount, with some 50% saying they would only quit at a price of €60 per pack.
In Australia, cigarettes now cost around €24 for 20, in the Netherlands around €8.20.
Some 20% of the Dutch population smoke regularly but the government set a target in 2018 of ensuring just 5% do so by 2040.
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