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Report: higher tobacco tax only helps smugglers

The Local · 7 Aug 2011, 14:04

Published: 07 Aug 2011 14:04 GMT+02:00

The latest tax hike on tobacco, imposed earlier this year, has increased the trade for smugglers and eaten into the profits of the tobacco industry, according to a report seen by news magazine Der Spiegel.

The report found that smokers did not respond to government health and budget policies by quitting smoking, but by "turning even more deliberately to illegal cigarettes."

Customs officials found that the increased demand for smuggled tobacco meant not only that illegal cigarettes were easier to get, but that children and young people had easier access to them.

Since illegal cigarettes are not necessarily subject to quality control, they can also pose greater health risks.

This has also led to decreased tax revenue, as the number of cigarettes sold legally in Germany between 2003 and 2009 sank from 133 billion to 87 billion. The internal report believes the difference is being made up by illegal cigarettes, though it acknowledges that many smokers have also turned to loose tobacco.

Story continues below…

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:30 August 7, 2011 by pepsionice
Since 2005, the German government has known this, but the political parties have refused to act because everyone is on this "high-prices-force-people-to-quit-smoking" campaign. No one wants to believe otherwise.

Go into any small village and ask around....and you will find some guy who sells cartons of smokes out of his garage. Some guy pulls up every four weeks in a van and unloads two hundred cartons, and there's virtually no real enforcement going on except at the autobahn entrances to the country.

Everyone was stupid on how much taxes people would accept, and even if you decrease the taxes now....who says that people would go back to buying state-taxed smokes? It's a comedy......no matter how you look at it.
09:41 August 8, 2011 by freechoice
smoking should be ban in Germany. there is no associated health benefits with regards to smoking! marajuna is ban in Germany, why are cigarettes allowed in the country? smoking kills more people than marajuna! cigarettes smoke are a killjoy to pristine clear air in Europe, which environmentalists have been fighting to keep and uphold.
11:25 August 8, 2011 by HistoryProffessor
Freechoice, you contradict your own user name. However I do agree with you. I am not a big fan of smokers smoking around me, but if smokers wanna kill themselves over a period of time then thats fine with me. Its one less jerkoff in traffic.
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