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Tobacco industry opposes greater warnings despite increased sales

The Local · 23 Sep 2011, 16:06

Published: 23 Sep 2011 16:06 GMT+02:00

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At the industry’s ‘Inter-tabac’ conference in Dortmund on Friday, the industry admitted that German revenues in the first half of the year had reached nearly €11.7 billion, up from €11 billion in the same time period last year.

But they complained about a planned new European Union directive which could force manufacturers to display larger health warnings on cigarette packs from 2014. Many tobacco products would have to be hidden from public view under the new rules.

These requirements alone could slowly strangle the industry, said Adam-Claus Eckert of the Federation of Tobacco Retailers (BTWE). Lobbyists are drawing up plans in Brussels - where the European Union’s institutions are based - to fight the proposals.

The tobacco industry also said that while tax increases could be dealt with, they needed to be clearly spelled out in advance and be reasonable. Taxes on tobacco have been increasing steadily over the last few years – something anti-tobacco activists say discourages smoking. Today a pack of cigarettes in Germany costs around €4.90. With planned tax increases, prices will hit €5.20 in 2015.

Among the biggest challenges for the industry, however, is the massive spread of black market cigarettes. About 20 percent of all cigarettes in Germany are smuggled illegally from countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Russia and go entirely untaxed.

The industry and police have created task forces to deal with the problem, but to little effect.

Story continues below…

The Local/DPA/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:17 September 23, 2011 by MonkeyMania
What difference does it make to the tobacco industry if the cigarettes bought in Germany are through Russia or Germany. A pack sold from Russia has the same value to the Tobacco company as a pack sold through Germany. The only real issue here is the health warning which will hopefully result in less cigarettes being sold over all.
10:01 September 28, 2011 by euan.dykes
They did this in New Zealand about 5 years ago, including showing photos of some of the health effects cause by smoking. We also have band smocking from all bars and cafes, and now retailers can't display tobacco products. But this doesn't stop more and more young New Zealanders from starting to smoke. Tabacco companies have huge budgets to spend on subconciouse programming young minds to want to smoke. Warning lables are just the governments attempt to look like they want to stop people from smoking.
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