Turkey leading country in tobacco taxation at 87 pct

Following a series of hikes to tobacco taxes since the beginning of 2019, Turkey leads the world in taxes levied for cigarettes, which now register at up to 87 percent, left-wing news site Artı Gerçek reported.

This year’s hikes mean that a pack of cigarettes previously sold for 15.5 lira ($ 2.79) will cost 18.5 lira ($ 3.33) and up to 15.67 percent of the retail price is comprised of taxes, the site said. 

Turkey in April announced a 20 percent price increase on cigarettes following its January move of increasing special consumption tax (ÖTV) on cigarettes to 67 percent from 63 percent. July saw yet another hike in  ÖTV taxes. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Slovakia and Bulgaria follow Turkey with tobacco taxes that can go up to 85.07, 85, 84.8 and 84 percent, respectively. 

Turkey saw its highest figures of cigarette consumption to date in 2018, according to a study published by state-run Anadolu News Agency. Accordingly, 1400 cigarettes were consumed for every person in 2018.