University Urges Big Tobacco Tax Hike

    Photo: Schlierner

    The Dutch government will need to increase tobacco taxes substantially if it wants to meet its tobacco control objectives, reports DutchNews, citing a study by Maastricht University.
     
    They found that cigarettes would need to cost at least €12 ($13.50) per pack to entice 10 percent of smokers to quit, and some 50 percent of smokers say they would only quit at a price of €60 per pack. Cigarettes in the Netherlands currently cost around €8.20 per pack, and this is scheduled to rise to €10 by 2023.
     
    The researchers say this illustrates not only how addictive but also how affordable cigarettes are. “People adjust their consumption when they notice the difference in their wallet, when something becomes more or less affordable,” said UM researcher Cloe Geboers. “So big hikes in excise duty, like the €1 increase in 2020, are highly desirable when it comes to discouraging smoking.”
     
    The government aims to reduce the number of smokers to 5 percent by 2040. Some 22 percent of the Dutch population still smoke, and 35,000 people in the Netherlands die each year from the effects of smoking, being overweight or problem drinking.