EDITORIAL

CIGS TAX FURY Smokers pay more for cigarettes in Britain than anywhere else in Europe except Norway

UK prices are more than four times higher than in the cheapest nations

BRITISH smokers pay more forcigarettesthan almost anyone else in Europe – with prices more than four times higher than in the cheapest nations.

Only Norwegians fork out more for a pack of 20 fags than our £9.35, research found, with prices as low as £2.06 in Bulgaria and sub-£3 packs commonplace in Eastern Europe.

 

Brits pay £9.35 for a pack of cigarettes while elsewhere in Europe smokers pay less than £3

 

Prices are sky-high in the UK due to taxes making up around £6.90 per pack

Packs in Slovakia cost £2.61, Croatia £2.65, Romania £2.75 and Poland £2.86, research by the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association found.

And in Ukraine 20 cigarettes cost just 63p – 15 times cheaper than in Britain.

Prices in the UK are sky high due to toughtaxeswhich make up around £6.90 per pack.

But the hugely differing costs emerged as research found seven out 10 smokers admit to buying black market or duty-free imported tobacco to save cash – costing the taxman £3.1 billion a year.

 

Seven out 10 smokers admit to buying black market or duty-free imported tobacco

A poll of 12,000 smokers found one in eight spend more than £20 a week on fags which have not been subjected to UK taxes – known as “illicit” tobacco.

That came after a study by audit giants KPMG found the black market now accounts for 6.7 billion cigarettes a year – 16 per cent of the total market.

Almost 1.4 billion were smuggled in from Poland and 0.7 billion from Romania, with nearly a billion coming from Spain where a pack of 20 costs £3.85.

It sparked calls for an end to ever-increasing tobacco taxes, which rise by two per cent a year under an automatic “escalator”.

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