Sunday 02 April 2023

Cigarette price rise has been largely matched by higher wages


The price of cigarettes may have risen steadily over the years, but so have wages and that means tobacco products have only become marginally more expensive, according to Maastricht University researcher Cloé Geboers.

The research, which covers the period 2008 to 2020, was published in journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research on Tuesday. The price of a packet of cigarettes went up from around €3.60 to €6.70 during the 12 years in the research, and only rose marginally when corrected for higher incomes.

‘The increase in taxes in the Netherlands has not been sufficient to make smoking less affordable,’ Geboers told the NRC.

Geboers, who also works for the Trimbos addiction clinic, has called on the government to increase taxes on tobacco products considerably to discourage smoking.

A packet of cigarettes in the Netherlands now costs around €8.20 and is due to rise to €10 by 2025.

€60 per pack

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 and in Britain they go up in price by inflation plus 2%.

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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