Which cigarette packets rise in price in France on June 1, 2024?

Predictions show a €25 packet could be on the way

Figures suggest that a pack of cigarettes could cost €25 in France by 2040

The price of some cigarette packets are set to rise from tomorrow (June 1) in France, with figures suggesting that a packet could cost as much as €25 by 2040.

The rise seeks to standardise sales prices for tobacco products made in France.

It is in addition with the usual annual governmental price increase of January 1, and is a result of manufacturers wanting to make more of a margin on each packet sale.

This new rise means that some (but not all) packets will see slight increases. For example, a 20-cigarette packet of Dunhill ‘red’ will increase from €12.50 to €12.70.

Rolling tobacco is also set to increase; a 30g packet of Pall Mall will rise from €16.60 to €16.70; a 30g pack of Lucky Strike from €16.70 to €16.80; and a 30g of Pueblo from €16.90 to €17.

Cigars and other styles of cigarettes are also set to see similar price rises.

Most of the cost of cigarettes represents government taxes and customs charges. French customs data shows that for a cigarette pack costing €11.50, the state takes more than €9.50. 

The breakdown of the fees and charges is: 

  • Excise duty (55%): €6.33
  • Additional excise fee: €1.43
  • VAT on retail price (16.67%): €1.92
  • Tobacconist's wholesale rate (10.19%): €1.17
  • Manufacturer's margin: €0.66. It is this that will increase as a result of the newest price rises.

Price increases aim to deter smokers

Yet, the French government has said that its aim is for all packets of 12 cigarettes to cost €13 or more by 2026, as a deterrent against smoking. 

Tobacco use causes 70,000 premature deaths in France every year, health data suggests. Smokers die at age 69 on average, in comparison to the average life expectancy in France of 83 (14 extra years).

The World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly said that increased tobacco taxes, and therefore the price of packets for consumers, is the most effective way of changing behaviour.

A new report from a Senate commission has predicted that if prices continue to rise at the same rate of 5% every year, a packet of 20 cigarettes will cost €25 by 2040, the equivalent of €20 in today’s money.

The report also found that with each 4% increase in price, tobacco use in France diminishes.

Already, some countries are charging similar amounts to the 2040 prediction. The price of a 20-pack is higher than the equivalent of €20 in New Zealand, and €25 in Australia.

Yet, France is still one of the countries in the OCDE with the highest cigarette packet prices, save for Ireland and the UK.

The country has also taken additional measures in a bid to reduce smoking over the years.

The 1991 Évin law banned cigarette advertising and banned smoking in public places, and in 2017 France brought in the ‘plain pack’, as only the second country to do so after Australia. In 2019, it brought in higher reimbursement of nicotine substitutes. 

The government has long worked to increase the price of a pack, with the then-Health Minister Agnès Buzyn bringing in the gradual ramping up of prices to €10 per pack, over the course of three years from 2018.