Cigarette prices to increase again

Smokers can expect to pay more for their cigarettes in Switzerland next year the director of the Federal Health Office has warned.

This content was published on February 3, 2008 - 14:39

According to Thomas Zeltner, the price of a pack will probably increase between SFr0.30 ($0.28) and SFr0.50 in 2009, putting the average cost at around SFr6.50.

The health office will soon put in a request to the Swiss finance ministry to increase the tax on tobacco Zeltner told the Sonntag newspaper, and a decision should be reached by the end of summer.

The country's top health official said that if prices increase, young people tend to smoke less. A ten per cent hike also meant five per cent fewer smokers, he added.

Zeltner said any decision to increase the cost of a pack of cigarettes to SFr10, as suggested by Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin, would have to be taken by parliament. The government can only approve a maximum increase of SFr0.90

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