a limited increase when compared to inflation

The price of cigarettes will increase in 2023. The Social Security financing bill (PLFSS) presented Monday, September 26 in the Council of Ministers plans to raise the tax on tobacco, which will eventually raise the price of a pack of cigarettes. cigarettes at 11 euros, said the Ministry of the Economy to Agence France-Presse. This represents an increase of “50 cents in 2023 and 35 cents in 2024”, according to Bercy.

The Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, announced Monday, September 26 on RMC and BFM-TV, before the presentation of the draft budget 2023 in the Council of Ministers, that the price of a pack of cigarettes was going to “rise like inflation”. “It would be quite paradoxical for the rise in cigarettes to be lower than inflation”that would mean that “finally, relatively, the price would drop”argued the Prime Minister, noting that this situation would not be consistent “taking into account the health impact of tobacco”.

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Based on the average price change of 0.50 euro in 2023 for a pack of cigarettes at the current average price of 10.15 euros, as specified by Bercy, the increase actually represents 4.9% of the average price, slightly below inflation, which will amount to 5.3% on average for the year 2022 according to the latest INSEE estimate.

Increases for public health reasons

During the last twenty years, the successive increases in the price of a pack of cigarettes have been largely disconnected from annual inflation and have above all pursued a logic of public health policy.

While tobacco prices experienced regular increases from the early 2000s, the increases were stronger and more constant from November 2017 to November 2020; in six successive increases, it jumped 50%, to exceed in March 2020 the symbolic price of 10 euros for the best-selling pack of cigarettes. Thus, counting the expected increase of 50 cents, the price of the package will have been multiplied by 1.75 in ten years (2013-2023), and by 2.7 in twenty years (2003-2023). With the effect of lowering the volume of cigarette sales, but also, according to tobacco sellers, increasing traffic.

Tobacco control specialists recognize the existence of a link between prices and consumption. Provided that the increases are “meaningful” and “repeated”.

A drop in smoking of 5 points was observed between 2016 and 2019, when price increases were the strongest. The French Observatory of Drugs and Addictive Tendencies (OFDT), in its latest report on smoking and quitting smoking notes that this recent decline concerns both women and men, and is observed among all age groups, with the exception of generations born before 1965. But the trend was reversed in 2020, with a slight recovery, for reach 25.5% of smokers among 18-75 year olds.

France continues to have one of the highest daily smoking prevalence in Western Europe. The health consequences of smoking, according to the OFDT, amounted in 2015 to 75,320 deaths, or 13% of mortality in metropolitan France, including 55,420 men and 19,900 women. The cause of death attributable to smoking was cancer for 61.7% of people, cardiovascular disease for 22.1% and respiratory pathology for 16.2%.

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