Most brands will cost around 20 cents more per pack – with manufacturers citing a tax increase as the reason. From March 2nd JTI Austria (formerly Austria Tabak) will increase the prices of Benson & Hedges (from €4.20 to €4.40), Smart (from €4.10 to €4.30) and Winston (€4.10 to €4.30).
Loose tobacco will also become more expensive. Meanwhile, e-Cigarettes and e-Liquids will remain competitive, although that may not last, as from April 1st, the government has threatened to restrict e-Cigarettes to Tabaks only.
Market leader Philip Morris has said the price of Marlboro brand cigarettes will remain the same but a pack of Chesterfield will cost €4.40 rather than €4.20.
From March 9th some brands of British American Tobacco (BAT) will also cost more. A pack of Pall Mall will increase from €4.30 to €4.50, HB will cost €5.20 instead of €5, and a pack of Vogue will cost €5.40.
Cigarettes are still relatively cheap in Austria compared to its European neighbours. A pack of the most popular brands of cigarettes costs around €5.30 in Germany and €7.80 in Switzerland. In Ireland and the UK cigarettes cost around €10.
Austria is one of the few places in western and central Europe where you can still smoke in bars and restaurants, although the Health Minister Sabine Oberhauser has said she wants to bring in a full scale ban on smoking in public places this year. Currently small cafes and restaurants under 50 square metres can ignore the ban, and larger establishments need only provide a non-smoking section.
According to international figures Austria has the highest rate of teenage smokers in Europe. 35 percent of Austrians are estimated to be smokers and at least 14,000 people in Austria die every year due to smoking-related illnesses.