EU - Cigarette tax at least €1.50 per pack from 2014..

March 3, 2009 - A gradual increase in minimum tax rates on cigarettes, to at least €1.50 (USD1.87, GBP1.33) per pack by 2014, and other tobacco products, was backed by the Economic Affairs Committee but it advocated smaller increases than those proposed by the Commission.

The aim of the proposed legislation is to avoid distorting the single market and to foster tax convergence (tobacco tax rates currently differ from Member State to Member State). This should also help to protect health, if used in combination with a ban on tobacco advertising and with education campaigns, said the committee, in a report drafted by Zsolt Laszlo Becsey (EPP-ED, HU).

Convergence would be fostered by applying the same minimum requirement to cigarettes and other tobacco merchandise. The increases, if approved by the Council, would be introduced gradually, ending on January 2014.

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Reference: European Parliament committee amends proposed cigarette tax hike by Clive Leviev-Sawyerthe, 3/3/2009; Cigarette tax at least €1.50 per pack from 2014, European Parliament, 2/3/2009.