Cigarettes, price and marketing?

Cigarette smoking is one of the the leading preventable causes of death in the EU.

While the negative health consequences are well known, many women and their family members, still smoke.

A 2006 European study showed the risk of developing lung cancer was

  • 0.2% for men who never smoked (0.4% for women)
  • 5.5% for male former smokers (2.6% in women)
  • 15.9% for current male smokers (9.5% for women)
  • 24.4% for male heavy smokers defined as smoking more than 5 cigarettes per day (18.5% for women)

Apart from a greatly increased risk of lung cancer, women smokers have a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, emphysema, bronchitis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cataracts, infertility, early menopause, and more than 10 different cancers (including breast and cervical cancers) than nonsmokers.


In the last number of years there has been a deliberate and widely supported move within public policy to control or try to curtail cigarette consumption with price increases through the taxation applied to tobacco. This approach varies at each national level. From the mid 1990s, cigarette smuggling has become more prolific, both inside and outside EU territory, indeed by 2000 the level of such smuggling into the EU had more than doubled since 1996. In 1996, 3.07 billion smuggled cigarettes were seized in the Union, by 2000 that had risen to 6.23 billion cigarettes, the equivalent of 600 forty foot container loads. the policy of increasing taxation on these produ7ct has undoubtably increased the level of rewards for those participating in this illegal activity.


The latest move against the use of cigarretes is the removal of branding from the point of sale packaging but will it lead to the desired results that are being sought from these initiatives by policymakers, the reduction of tobacco and in particular cigarette consumption by EU citizens?

Will the no brand approach work or will it simply reduce costs for those supplying illegal tobacco by reducing their costs in preparing a lower quality, non regulated product that more potentially damaging to health.

Some reports suggest that illegal tobacco can be up to 6 times more damaging to health than the government regulated products. It must also be remembered that Illegal tobacco also goes hand in hand with the sale of drugs and illegal alcohol and is often linked with more serious crime.

In terms of revenue, cigarette smuggling ranks as the number one method of fraud perpetrated against the budget of the European Communities, with billions of Euros of revenue lost each year.

Maybe the question that should be raised is why do we allow the supply of any tobacco related products rather than seeking a percentage from the tax take to combat its well known and extremely negative effects!

branding cigarettes Health poor reduced risk smoking socially marginalised young?

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This entry was posted by M Maguire on May 16, 2012 at 2 20 pm, and is filed under Archive 2012, Eurohealth, News. Follow any responses to this post through RSS can leave a response or trackback from your own site.

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