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Cigarettes up 7.6% this year

The price of a pack will see a steep hike in the autumn – but less than expected, due to lobbying by tobacconists

THE price of a pack of cigarettes will rise 7.6% on October 1.

This will be due to the combined effect of an increase in VAT of 1.6% and a planned hike in the price of tobacco by the government (prices already went up by 6% in each of the last three years).

Tobacconists say it is only thanks to their lobbying of the government that the price rise is not greater.

They say that normally factoring in the VAT rise to maintain their profit margins would have meant an increase of 10%. To avoid this the government agreed to slightly reduce a “consumption tax” on cigarettes.

Anti-smoking charity the Comité National Contre le Tabagisme said this was “another chance for the government to please the tobacco lobby to the detriment of French people’s health and the state’s coffers.

If the VAT rise had had its full effect, the 10% increase would have seen a 4% reduction in cigarette consumption, it estimates.

Socialist Party MP Jean-Marie Le Guen said over the last five years rises in the price of tobacco have brought “spectacular increases in profits for the tobacco industry”.

• Le Figaro has produced a handy calculator to work out – based on the cost of your packs of cigarettes now, how much a smoking habit will cost you from the autumn, per week, month and year at: Price calculator

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