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GERMANY

Germany sees higher tobacco tax profits in 2020

19 Jan 2021. Increased consumption of tobacco for shishas, e-cigarettes and roll-your-own during the pandemic lead to higher tobacco tax revenues in 2020, reports tagesschau.de.

Statistics from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) show a total of EUR 28.8 billion (USD 34.7 billion) worth of tobacco products were taxed last year in Germany, an increase of five per cent.

The quantity of fine-cut rolling tobacco raised by 10.6 per cent. The sales value of pipe tobacco even increased by 44.3 per cent including mainly tobacco for shisha and e-cigarettes.

However, according to Destatis, this does not automatically mean that people smoked more: "The overall increase in sales of tobacco products points to changed consumption habits, but also to the special trading conditions in 2020," Destatis explained.

For example, the measures to contain the Corona pandemic are likely to play a role in the significant growth of fine-cut. Last year, the borders to neighbouring countries were temporarily closed. In search of an alternative to the cheaper cigarettes from abroad, consumers probably increasingly turned to fine-cut to roll their own cigarettes, the report said. Fine-cut tobacco is subject to lower taxes than cigarettes.

Meanwhile, the sale of taxed cigarettes declined by 1.1 per cent. Compared to 1991, cigarette sales have almost halved from 146.5 billion cigarettes to 73.8 billion in 2020.