New year resolutions to give up smoking could be strengthened on January 1 when prices rise due to a increase in the tobacco tax of between four and eight cents per pack. And cigarette makers are passing the increased costs directly onto their customers.
Reemtsa/Imperial Tobacco said it would also be rounding the price up on its brands which include West, JPS, Gauloises, Davidoff and Peter Stuyvesant. Industry insiders say other manufacturers will also increase their prices, bringing the cost of a pack of 19 top brand cigarettes over the €5 mark.
British American Tobacco, which makes Lucky Strike and Pall Mall cigarettes, has said it would not be increasing its prices at the start of the year. The picture for rolling and pipe tobacco is mixed, with some firms planning to hike prices and others not.
The tobacco tax is due to increase by between four and eight cents a year until 2015.
Cigarette advertising is also likely to be further restricted in 2012, with a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection saying this week that plans were being drawn up to remove it from cinemas and from posters. The distribution of free cigarettes as part of marketing campaigns will also be banned. Tobacco advertising is already banned from printed media and the internet in Germany.