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Researchers call for higher tobacco prices

23 Nov 2021. Researchers at Maastricht University are calling on the Dutch government to substantially increase tobacco taxes to successfully encourage smokers to quit, reports Dutch News.

A study found that half of Dutch smokers surveyed would only quit if cigarettes cost EUR 60 per pack, while 10 per cent would quit if cigarettes cost at least EUR 12 per pack. The researchers asked almost 1,500 daily smokers how many cigarettes they would buy and smoke in one day at eight different prices. Dutch smokers seem to be willing to pay a lot of money for tobacco with one third reporting no aversion to paying even the highest price, the report said. 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 researcher Cloé Geboers. “So big hikes in excise duty, like the EUR 1 increase in 2020, are highly desirable when it comes to discouraging smoking. They have the greatest effect.”

Cigarettes in the Netherlands currently cost around EUR 8.20 per pack and this is scheduled to rise to EUR 10 by 2023. Currently 22 per cent of the Dutch population smoke, with the government aiming to bring levels down to 5 per cent by 2040.


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