• Published 18 Dec 2013 at 20.46
  • Online news

BRUSSELS European Union states and lawmakers agreed on Wednesday to regulate the booming e cigarette market and discourage smoking by increasing the size of health warnings on packets.

The sale of increasingly popular e cigarettes will continue to be authorised although countries that classify them as medicinal products will be able to restrict their sale to pharmacies only.

After intensive lobbying from the relatively new electronic cigarette industry, the European Parliament had refused to restrict their sale to pharmacies across the 28 nation bloc.

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The price of cigarettes in the european union

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BACKGROUND&#x02014 A major factor influencing tobacco use is its price. Fiscal policies on tobacco are a key ingredient of any comprehensive control strategy, as they can be used to raise prices. The European Union (EU) developed directives to ensure some harmonisation of the fiscal pressure on tobacco across its member states.
OBJECTIVES&#x02014 To provide a simple comparison of tobacco prices in the EU, adjusting for the purchasing power of each currency.
DESIGN&#x02014 For price comparisons, a 20&#x000a0 units pack of Marlboro was the reference product, and data refer to April 2000.&#x000a0 Purchasing power parities (PPP) for each member state currency have been compiled. These are currency conversion rates, which convert to a common currency and equalise the purchasing power of different currencies.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES&#x02014 Nominal prices of a Marlboro pack for each member state, and a price index, estimated taking as reference the EU mean. Adjusted prices and an adjusted price index have been estimated using PPP.
RESULTS&#x02014 Nominal prices show wide variation, with the cheapest pack in Portugal (59) and the most expensive in the UK (196) the range of variation is three fold. However, PPP adjusted prices reveal a different distribution. In three countries adjusted prices are outliers, but all other countries make two clusters, one around the average EU index of 100,&#x000a0 the other around a lower value of 85.
CONCLUSIONS&#x02014 These results suggest that fiscal harmonisation policies in the EU do not have an even effect at reducing availability by its impact in price.

Keywords cigarette price fiscal policy health policy European Union.

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