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Tobacco: New Cigarette Prices Change on 15th May

Tobacco prices will rise again, after a mid-March increase in taxes on cigarette packets and the cheapest rolling tobacco, according to a decree published in the Official Gazette on Sunday. The new list prices will come into force on the 15th May.

It comes after an order by mid-March from Bercy and the Ministry of Health under the “minimum tax” on cigarettes and rolling tobacco, which is to impose higher taxes on the cheapest packages.

The stated aim of the measure was to force the hand of manufacturers, who chose earlier this year not to increase the price of cigarettes despite tax increases decided by the end of 2016 the Government .

According to the decree of approval of prices published on Sunday, some brands will make small increases in their prices, like the red Lucky Strike pack or the blue Winfield moving from 6.50 to 6.60 euros.  Others have instead kept their prices unchanged. This is the example of the package of red News (Seita), which will remain at 6.50 euros.

“On the entry level, evolution is mixed, there is an upward trend but not widespread” , says a source close to the industry.

Some prices unchanged

The different packages from Marlboro, the best-selling brand and specializes in high-end remain unchanged at 7 euros. The Camel pack will descend in price from 7 to 6.90 euros.

Seita, the French subsidiary of the British tobacco company Imperial Tobacco has “decided not to pass on the increased minimum charge on the price of its entry-level brands (News)” , informed in a statement the director of legal affairs, Morgan Cauvin.

“Our priority is to reduce the attractiveness of the parallel market especially when we know that one cigarette in four is from illegal trafficking and that consumers are sourcing more and more abroad,” added Mr. Cauvin.

These are the manufacturers, not the state, that set the retail price, “freely” as the law says. They just have them approved by the government, which ensures that these rates are not lower than the cost price and all taxes.

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