On March 1, excise duties on cigarettes will increase again in Russia.
Photo: Alexey BULATOV
Smokers, wait: Excise taxes on cigarettes will increase again starting March 1. As well as liquids for vaporizers and tobacco for heating systems. This increase is extraordinary. Since January 1, excise rates have already been raised.
As indicated in the explanatory note of the reforms to the Tax Code, which contemplate an unscheduled increase, its objective is “a fairer tax regulation” and “the maximum attraction of additional income from products that contain nicotine” to the federal budget. In other words, smokers were among the first to decide to plug holes in the budget, which now turned out to be in deficit (estimated costs exceed revenues). It is planned to receive from them an additional 100 billion rubles to the budget. (But there is nothing to ruin your health, smoking these days is not only harmful, but also very expensive!)
The bigger question is how much more financially difficult will life be for a particular smoker? Let’s start with cigarettes. From January 1, excise duties on them increased by about 4%, and the single minimum price set for 2023 increased from 112 to 117 rubles (plus 4.5%). The same principle works here as with the minimum price of alcohol: what is cheaper than this price is false.
From March 1 – another plus 2% excise tax. Experts suggest that all this will give an increase in cigarette prices in general by 2023 within 10%. On average, one package now costs 150-200 rubles. Get ready to add 15-20 rubles to this amount. In addition, the increase will be “smeared” throughout the year – sellers will not raise prices sharply, so as not to scare off buyers. If a smoker smokes 20-30 packs a month, then for him the issue price will be 300-600 rubles.
With electronic smoking devices, the situation is slightly different. Special rates on liquids for vaping and heating tobacco will increase from March 1 by 11% at a time (or by 2 rubles per milliliter), up to 20 rubles per ml. Taking into account that since January 1, the excise tax has already increased by 6%. True, from March 1, the excise duty on devices is cancelled. It was the idea of the Ministry of Finance: not to collect excise duty on vapers, but on liquids for them, immediately raising it to 33 rubles per milliliter (from 17 rubles in 2022). This proposal was not approved: the specialists argued that, in this way, the market would generally enter a gray zone. Therefore, the current increase can still be considered human. The forecasts for 2023 as a whole are as follows: vapers and everything for them will increase in price more than ordinary cigarettes, within 20%. It is difficult to calculate how this will affect specific smokers – after all, someone will smoke 30 ml of fluid in a week, and someone in three days. But if you buy a bottle of liquid now for 500 rubles, then by the end of the year it will cost at least 600, so count.
If we vape, we’ll stay in the law. The State Duma is already preparing proposals for its possible ban. According to a January Superjob poll, 68% of Russians support the idea of a complete ban on e-cigarettes. In most cases, these are people over 35 years of age.
BY THE WAY
What did the Russians smoke and smoke?
(% of all respondents, including non-smokers)
2019 and 2023
Cigars/cigars/regular pipes 80% 64%
Vape/electronic cigarettes 8% 23%
Both conventional and electronic cigarettes 12% 13%
(According to Superjob.ru)