Altadis raises prices of its cheapest cigarettes
25 January 2006, MADRID — Spain's biggest tobacco company is to raise the price of its cheapest cigarettes, including the famous Ducados.
25 January 2006
MADRID — Spain's biggest tobacco company is to raise the price of its cheapest cigarettes, including the famous Ducados.
Altadis, which makes Ducadaos rubios and Fortuna brands, announced their cigarettes will go up at least EUR 0.25.
Ducados rubios will go up 29 percent, from EUR 1.35 to EUR 1.75.
The company, which last year bought the Gauloises brand, will also raise the price of the iconic French cigarettes 10 percent to EUR 2.70.
The move comes after the Spanish Government announced last week it was to raise the tax on low-price cigarettes in an effort to get smokers to give up.
Taxes on the cheapest brands, which sell on average for EUR 1.80 were increased by 0.1 percent making the full tax EUR 6.20 per 1,000 cigarettes sold.
Under European Union law, Spain could not simply impose higher prices on companies, but it was expected tobacco firms would pass on higher costs to smokers.
Altadis is the first company to do so.
But Alvaro Garrido, director of Smokers for Tolerance, attacked the Government's tax rise and the subsequent price increases introduced by Altadis.
He said: "This shows a lack of respect towards 10 million smokers who already pay a high enough rate of tax."
Spain introduced one of the toughest anti-smoking laws in Europe on 1 January, in an effort to get Spaniards to stub out a habit which kills 50,000 people a year – the largest cause of death.
Under the new law, smoking at the work place and in many other public areas was is banned.
Restaurants and bars over 1,076 sq ft must provide non-smoking areas and tobacco sales have been severely restricted with newsagents prohibited from selling cigarettes and cigars.
But sales of the cheapest brands shot up by 17 percent, compared with 7 percent, during the same period last year.
Many British and French so-called 'tobacco tourists' stock up with Ducados and other cheap cigarettes on holidays to Spain.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news