CIGARETTE prices are due to rise 6% next month - making an average price of €5.60 a packet from October 5.
It is the first price rise for two years and has come directly from tobacco manufacturers with both economy minister Christine Lagarde and budget minister Eric Woerth denying the government has imposed any tax increase.
Ms Lagarde said: "As far as I know there is no such measure. If tobacco manufacturers want to sell their cigarettes at a higher price then that is their decision."
Mr Woerth said that if manufacturers wanted to increase their prices then the government was obliged to agree to it. There was no tax measure involved.
However, the Confédération des buralistes, who represent the owners of tabacs has called on Mr Woerth to reject the price rise as it would hit their sales and increase the market for smuggled tobacco.
The last cigarette price rise was in August 2007, when there was a 6% increase. Cigars and cigarillos went up 4% last July.