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Higher tobacco taxes push smokers to contraband cigarettes

DDP/The Local · 25 Jan 2010, 14:10

Published: 25 Jan 2010 14:10 GMT+01:00

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Between 2005 and 2008 the number of untaxed cigarettes smoked in Germany grew from 16 to 20 percent, according to Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) Director Thomas Straubhaar at a conference in Berlin.

Instead of reducing the number of cigarettes smoked, the tax has only increased the number of illegal cigarettes consumed – some 23 billion, according to Straubhaar.

The tax increase has also created an overall reduction in tax revenue earned on tobacco, HWWI expert Michael Bräuninger said, adding that he expected a continued increase in contraband cigarettes.

According to a study by the DZV German cigarette association presented at the event, the increase means a yearly loss of some €4 billion.

The highest number of banned smokes – most of which come from Poland – are consumed by eastern Germans, where every second cigarette is reportedly untaxed. Meanwhile every fifth cigarette in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia is contraband.

Story continues below…

At about €140 per thousand cigarettes, Germany has Europe’s fourth highest tobacco tax after Ireland, England and France.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:06 January 25, 2010 by lordwilliams629
I would like to find out how to get some of these contraband cigarettes in bulk, so I make some money selling them in my own home town.
13:32 January 26, 2010 by Reflor
I have found a way to beat the tobacco tax and not cause second hand smoke using a much safer alternative. It costs 75% less than tobacco cigarettes and is much healthier. No carbon monoxide, tar, smoke, ash and or harmful toxins. It literally can be used anywhere. www.EcigBiz.com
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