Bulgaria Smokers Face Staggering Cigarette Tax Hike

Society | March 31, 2010, Wednesday // 20:00| Views: | Comments: 4
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Bulgaria: Bulgaria Smokers Face Staggering Cigarette Tax Hike Bulgaria ranks second after Greece in the EU in terms of number of regular smokers as a percentage of the population, according to a Eurobarometer survey. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Bulgarian smokers will have to swallow a raise in excise duties on cigarettes and their prices as of April 1, as the government struggles to curb smoking and relieve the health care system.

The new prices were introduced at the beginning of the year, but the grace period for cigarettes with old excise labels expires on April 1.

Under a decision that the parliament took at the end of November, a BGN 101 excise duty for 1000 cigarettes is introduced instead of the previous BGN 41, while the proportional tax is 23% of the sales price instead of 40,5%. The latter will affect mostly expensive cigarette brands.

The tax for tobacco for pipes and cigarettes is set at BGN 100 per kg.

The new duties increase the price of a pack of cigarettes anywhere between BGN 1,10 and 1,40 making the price of the best-selling “Victory” brand BGN 4,60 instead of the current BGN 3,60.

Opponents to the tax hike claim that it will boost cigarette smuggling and may lead to the bankruptcy of the dominant state cigarette maker Bulgartabak.

Bulgaria has the second highest percentage of smokers in Europe, but has recently abandoned plans to ban smoking in all public spaces.

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» To the forumComments (4)
jingsmaboab - 2 Apr 2010 // 16:25:09

"Smokers behave usually extremely rude in Bulgaria, even not respecting no-smoking areas in cafes and restaurants."

You can't blame the rudeness and rule-flouting on smokers. Bulgarians in general behave like this! Have you driven on a Bulgarian road lately?

DrFaust - 1 Apr 2010 // 16:11:23


sorry, but I can't find anything positive in the cheap cigarette prices in Bulgaria so far. The result is that almost everyone smokes, including little boys and girls. Smokers behave usually extremely rude in Bulgaria, even not respecting no-smoking areas in cafes and restaurants.

MJC - 1 Apr 2010 // 15:21:10

I have never known an increase of such mammoth proportions on any one product let alone cigarettes, what equates in British terms to nearly 70 pence per pack rise is so extraordinary even the British Government (The world authority on how to screw the taxpayer) wouldn't dare to implement such a hike.

One of the few attractions that Bulgaria had to offer in terms of prices was cheap cigarettes (probably the cheapest in Europe) which if you are a smoker (sorry a person that smokes) would have meant tremendous savings on a daily basis compared to the UK.

What was in effect a smokers paradise has now turned sadly sour & what with current property prices especially.. selling.. at rock bottom the attraction of this wonderful Country have somewhat diminished.

Of course this is purely personal point of view from a Foreigner living here,I haven't taken in consideration the Bulgarian smokers prospective of these catastrophic rises.. unfortunately neither has their own Government .. Some might say its a moral tax on a unhealthy habit..sounds realistic & sensible ??..Dont you believe it..its just another ground down of your civil liberties MJC (none smoker)

charlie23 - 31 Mar 2010 // 23:51:56

I wouldn't mind paying an extra 400 lev in taxes every year -about what this amounts to- if I thought maybe our healthcare, roads, pensions, schools or basic infrastructure would benefit. Somehow I really doubt that's going to happen.

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