Cabinet Drafting Tobacco Excise Hikes on Cheaper Cigarettes ({{commentsTotal}})

Cheaper cigarettes will face a price hike soon, with a rare consensus in place between the tobacco industry, taxpayer representatives and health advocates.

There is broad agreement between the interest groups that cheaper products should bear the brunt of the excise tax increase to make them less attractive to younger smokers.

The Cabinet will discuss the issue today at its meeting as the new coalition is drafting a bill on the new excise rates, Postimees reported.

For the last 10 years, Estonia has had an excise model where half is based on the number of cigarettes and half on the retail price.

The fact that retail price is such a high component has led tobacco companies to introduce cheaper cigarettes in Estonia, the daily said.

Recommendations from the World Health Organization and other groups are that countries should hike excise by 50 percent to decrease sales and dissuade younger people from smoking.

According to Estonian Health Development Institute research, the number of smokers has not declined in the last five years, remaining at 26 percent.