The pack of cigarettes will soon cost more, after two years of price stability, announced the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne. The tobacconists had said “worried” about this prospect.

Two years he had not moved. The price of a pack of cigarettes “will increase like inflation,” announced the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, Monday, September 26, on RMC and BFM-TV, before the presentation of the draft budget 2023 in the Council of Ministers. “It would be quite paradoxical that the increase in cigarettes is less than inflation,” it would mean that, “finally, relatively, the price would fall,” argued the Prime Minister, noting that this situation would not be consistent “given the impact on health of tobacco.

The government argues that the tax increase that occurred from 2018 to 2020, which brought the twenty-cigarette pack to 10 euros, has paid off in terms of public health, leading to an “unprecedented decline in the consumption of these products: – 22% volume between 2017 and 2021” and about “two million French people who have stopped smoking since 2017, according to Santé publique France,” argued Bercy.

However, after a tax freeze in 2021 and 2022, high inflation, if not passed on to tobacco prices, could lead to a “decline in real tobacco prices” and increase consumption, according to the ministry.

On Friday, Les Echos had announced that the government was considering indexing the excise duty on tobacco to inflation. Questioned on the subject, the government spokesman, Olivier Véran, had then referred to the presentation of the PLFSS. “It is there that the announcements will intervene,” he said. Tobacconists had said they were “worried” about the prospect of seeing tobacco taxes increase; the president of the National Confederation of Tobacconists, Philippe Coy, estimated that any increase should be “very moderate, about 20 cents per year”.