The government’s anti-tobacco measures have proved to be unsuccessful. Cigarettes have become more and more expensive, and smokers can light up in fewer and fewer places, but the number of regular smokers have not decreased, and the proportion of smokers among the younger generation is bigger than it was six years ago, political daily Népszabadság writes.
Although the tobacco trade has fallen according to official estimates, the black market is flourishing, and the smugglers benefit from the anti-tobacco campaign the most. The share of the black market has risen above 10 %, which constitutes HUF 50 billion (EUR 160 million), the paper says referring to unnamed market researchers.
Earlier, the Financial Times found that the illicit trade of tobacco is both supply and demand driven, as consumers look to save money by evading taxes on tobacco; and suppliers want to take advantage of easy border entry, high profit margins, and weak repercussions if caught. Studies highlight that increased tobacco taxes do not dissuade consumers from smoking, rather, consumers turn to cheaper brands and illegal cigarettes, wrote the international daily newspaper.
based on the article of index.hu
translated by Gábor Hajnal
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