Nicotine addicts face higher cost for fix

The federal government is raising the price of a pack of cigarettes by 10 cents through a tax hike set to take effect on April 1st.

Nicotine addicts face higher cost for fix

The increase was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday along with higher taxes for other tobacco products.

An extra tax of 60 cents will be levied on 50-gramme packets of fine-cut tobacco.

The government said the new levies will bring in an extra 50 million francs annually to government coffers.

For the past several year the government has conducted what it calls a “balanced approach” of small steps with regard to taxing tobacco.

Apart from considering the revenues, the government said it has also monitored the evolution of average prices for cigarettes in the European Union as well as the percentage of smokers in Switzerland.

It has also considered such issues as black market sales of tobacco products, smuggling and the volume of sales of cigarettes in border and tourist areas.

The latest taxes will being the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes to between 5.90 francs and eight francs, depending on the brand.

The French government boosted the tax on tobacco last month, making cigarettes more expensive than in Switzerland.

However, tobacco products remain cheaper in countries such as Germany and Italy.

In Switzerland close to a quarter of the population smokes, although this has dropped over the past decade.

Federal public health office figures showed 33 percent of Swiss residents aged between 14 and 65 were smokers in 2001.   

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