Since state monopoly, cigarette sales drop in Hungary

History

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Sales of cigarettes have dropped by 40% in Hungary since the government introduced the network of National Tobacco Shops, which can only be opened on acquiring a concession, according to data from the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV).

Since the National Tobacco Shops (Nemzeti Dohánybolt) were introduced in July 1, 2013, only such shops can sell tobacco products in Hungary. Approximately 7.8 billion cigarettes were sold last year, dropping from 12.5 billion sold in 2012, NAV data show. 

However, according to data from the authority, as the excise tax on cigarettes was raised, more people started rolling their own cigarettes as prepackaged cigarettes are much more expensive. Sales of loose-leaf tobacco climbed to 6,461 tons in 2015 from 5,179 tons in 2012, Hungarian news agency MTI reported, citing NAV data.

Further government measures are in the pipeline related to the market, aiming to reduce the ratio of smokers among the younger generation, such as the introduction of unified blank packaging as of next year, as well as plans for making the distribution of electronic cigarettes stricter.

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