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Smoking rules start to stub out the cigs
Photo: DPA

Smoking rules start to stub out the cigs

Published: 22 Jan 2013 07:25 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Jan 2013 07:25 GMT+01:00

Germans are smoking less, with higher taxes on tobacco and bans on public smoking seemingly taking effect. The number of legal cigarettes sold last year was nearly six percent down on the previous year, while smuggled smokes held steady.

New figures from the Federal Statistics Office show that 82.4 million legal cigarettes were puffed away in Germany in 2012, nearly six percent fewer than in 2011. Back in 2000 the number smoked was 140 million.

Yet smokers are not simply turning to smuggled cigarettes, the association of cigarette manufacturers said this week, adding that the share of illegal smokes was down somewhat, to around 20.6 percent of the total.

Taxes on cigarettes and tobacco have been increased three times since the start of 2011 - now adding up to €3.68 of the price of a €5 pack.

The industry has also been placed under tight advertising restrictions which ban for example, the description "light" on cigarette packaging.

The success in reducing smoking rates and levels has cost the federal government dearly - its income from tobacco taxes dropped by nearly two percent to €14.13 billion.

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:50 January 22, 2013 by mits
Certainly i dont see the mass less smoking. On the contrary i've seen an increased number of smoking people. I feel sorry for the kids here who start smoking at very early age. I see them everywhere from bus stops to outside shops, cafes, malls, etc..Oh to add the fact that there are glorious ad campaigns by the tobacco industry aimed at younger gen to take up smoking and be cool...
10:45 January 22, 2013 by raandy
The no smoking ban that passed a few years ago lacks enforcement.

I use to frequent an Irish pub but the owner at 10PM would go around and pass out ashtrays to the patrons, and the air would become intolerable for a non smoker. My Q to get out of Dodge.
11:48 January 22, 2013 by pepsionice
I doubt very seriously that smoking has curtailed. People simply smoke out of sight. As for illegal smokes brought into the country....the customs people can only estimate that they are effective, but they really aren't that sure. And you can bet at 4AM in the morning....there's probably five hundred cars hustling smokes into the country to sell without the tax.
13:17 January 22, 2013 by iseedaftpeople
well it's good to see that Germans are becoming more healthy.
13:19 January 22, 2013 by Englishted
If you pay duty on goods bought in another E.U. country you can bring them into the country ,this rule does not apply to tobacco or alcoholic drinks ,Why not ?,

when you are stopped entering a country (U.K. as well ) and these goods are removed from you it is a breech of E.U. regulations yet strangely enough these rules are just ignored isn't that a surprise.

A free market my a..e.
13:36 January 22, 2013 by jg.
@Englishted "If you pay duty on goods bought in another E.U. country you can bring them into the country ,this rule does not apply to tobacco or alcoholic drinks ,Why not ?"

It does apply to drinks and tobacco - cigarettes smuggled to Germany are likely to have been smuggled from outside the EU, maybe from eastern Europe or Turkey.

"when you are stopped entering a country (U.K. as well ) and these goods are removed from you it is a breech of E.U. regulations yet strangely enough these rules are just ignored isn't that a surprise."

UK HMRC have been fined on several occasions (i.e. the UK taxpayers have been fined) for not following single market rules. When taking tobacco or alcohol into the UK from another part of the EU, you are not required to pay any duty nor are there any limits, IF THEY ARE FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL USE. It is not up to you to prove that they are for your own use, it is for the HMRC to prove that they are not i.e. they have to catch you selling them later. If they confiscate the goods (and impound the vehicle in which they were transported), you can require restitution and payment of your costs. If you have any trouble, ask them if they fancy another 2 million pound fine. Remember that there are some places that are outside the EU but are part of EU member states e.g. Jersey, Tenerife, etc. - single market rules do not apply to them.
17:07 January 22, 2013 by Englishted
@jg.

So I should be able bring tobacco to Germany from Luxemburg ,but you can't without trouble at the customs ,and next time I go to the U.K. I can fill the car ,

and have no trouble ,you are correct in everything you say but and it is a big BUT somebody should tell the police and customs.

Funny I don't expect there is a problem taking goods from a high tax country to a lower one ,don't remember ever being checked going from the U.K. back to mainland Europe do you ?.

I was only pointing out the hypocrisy with which tobacco and alcohol are treated.

Something to do with the massive tax one would think.
18:12 January 22, 2013 by zeddriver
You should see the folks in my small village that come into the bakery. Most leave with an armful of fags and a cup of coffee.

I guess they didn't see the memo about cutting back.
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