Cigarettes: sales go up in smoke under the effect of the anti-smoking policy

As a consequence of the public anti-tobacco policy and the rise in prices, a 9.32% drop in cigarette sales was recorded in 2018.

Faced with successive increases in the price of a packet of cigarettes, French smokers have considerably reduced their consumption. In 2018, 4.13 billion fewer cigarettes were sold than in 2017, a decrease of 9.32% in volume, according to a report established by the supplier Logista France that the AFP was able to consult. In question, a package of 20 units revolving around eight euros since March (the objective being) and anti-smoking public policies which have not weakened.

This is the third consecutive year that sales have declined (1.48% in 2017, 1.2% in, 2016) and the eighth in nine years. Roll-your-own tobacco, despite its popularity with young people because of its lower price, is following a similar trajectory, with sales down 9.4%.

“It’s not a big surprise, but above all it reflects a departure from legal purchases towards other means, such as purchases abroad”

Philippe Coy, President of the national confederation of tobacconists

“Public health policy is working, it represents thousands of lives saved”, assures Bertrand Dautzenberg, pulmonologist at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital. On average each year, tobacco kills 75,000 French people. The Professor believes that the rise of one euro last March “prompted a lot of people to quit smoking. Because smoking a pack a day now costs 240 euros per month ”. The neutral package also played a role, he believes.

An optimism that does not share Philippe Coy, president of the National Confederation of tobacconists, who calls for a harmonization of prices on a European scale. “This drop in sales is not a big surprise, but above all it reflects a departure from legal purchases towards other means, such as purchases outside borders where tobacco is cheaper,” he adds. As such, he “salutes” the efforts of the Minister of Action and Public Accounts, Gérald Darmanin, in matters of seizure at customs.

“We are sympathetic to the public health plan, which we also supported in November by supporting smokers towards vaping,” he continues, “but the 2020 horizon with a 10-euro package is worrying for us if France is the only European country to implement this strategy ”. Two increases of 50 cents are expected this year, which will bring the price of the package to 9 euros on average.

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