Price of Cigarettes in Croatia to Increase Again?

Total Croatia News

More good news for shops in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Cigarettes and other products hazardous for health should be more expensive, and the income should be transferred directly to the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance’s so-called Health Fund. That is a proposal made by the Association of Employers in Healthcare and the Coalition of NGOs in Healthcare, reports Večernji List on January 13, 2017.

By amending the Law on Health Insurance, instead of current 32 percent of the excise tax on tobacco products, which amounts to 1.2 billion kuna a year and which the state is not paying in full, the whole amount of the increase would be paid to the fund for healthcare of citizens.

The associations have made a calculation which shows that just a three kuna increase in prices of cigarettes would bring to the Health Fund as much as 1.2 billion kuna, while additional price increases of one kuna during each of the next two years would bring 1.8 billion kuna.

Head of the Association of Employers in Healthcare Dražen Jurković pointed out that the state had again ignored its legal obligations and instead of 4.1 billion kuna, which is the amount that it was supposed to pay for healthcare of protected groups of citizens, which are those who do not pay health insurance contributions, it appropriated in the budget just 2.5 billion kuna.

“This would relieve the burden on the state budget, it would increase the health budget and reduce the number of consumers of tobacco products”, said Jurković, saying that any increase in cigarette prices reduces the number of smokers. For example, in the United States, a price increase of 0.84 dollars per packaging means eight million fewer smokers.

Croatia is the only country in Europe in which the number of smokers, especially women, is growing. In the last 20 years, the average price of cigarettes has increased by two euros while, for example, in France they are now five euros more expensive. The associations also advocate for price increase of snacks, sweets and junk food.

Due to much higher prices in Croatia than in Bosnia and Herzegovina, many Croats who live near the border regularly go there to buy cigarettes and other products. The additional price increase would certainly make that trend even more pronounced.


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