Recently, lawmakers across the European Union have begun to take a great interest in tobacco products. While their motives might be sound, the policy approach they have adopted towards cigarettes is likely to be counter-productive. Politicians seem determined to take new steps to restrict the use, sale and advertising of tobacco products and directly limit the civil liberties of smokers.
Taxation of tobacco products raises severe economic and social concerns which should be taken into account when formulating further tobacco taxation policies, including on novel tobacco products. Increased education rather than higher excise duties should be the main policy.
December 1, 2017, marked the five-year anniversary of the full implementation of plain packaging in Australia. The removal of brands and trademarks from packaging remains a gross violation of intellectual property rights and has failed to achieve its intended goal.
Although the frontlines are very clear when it comes to democracy, rule of law, European orientation – it is not the case in economic issues. Opposition parties have to remember this when creating a program and looking for alternatives instead of the regime of Fidesz: the Hungarian opposition is not right of left wing, rather eclectic – just like the government.
Tax rates are a political decision with fiscal impacts. And despite the fact that all voters are influenced by taxes, at least voters who have a strong opinion on the issue of excise duties (e.g. alcohol, tobacco, etc.) affect the election outcome.
Entrepreneurs producing alcohol are continuously seen as “les enfants terribles” of European economies, together with manufacturers of tobacco products and business subjects from oil industry.