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Smoking in Hungary

There has been an overall downwards trend for prevalence of current smokers in the general population in Hungary since 2006. 27% of Hungarians were current smokers in 2017, down from 36% in 2006. Smoking prevalence reduced steadily during the period, with the exception of 2006-2009 where there was a 2% increase. These data come from the Eurobarometer surveys, the most recent of which was carried out in 2017. In the most recent survey a total of 27,901 respondents from different social and demographic groups were interviewed face-to-face at home, in their mother tongue, across all 28 of the EU countries. The sample for each country is representative, however the sample sizes are relatively small (e.g. most countries had just over 1000 participants, but for Italy, Malta and Lithuania the sample was around 500). Nevertheless, the Eurobarometer surveys are useful as they have estimates for smoking prevalence collected over a number of years which can show trends, as described here.

Read articles from Hungary

August 16, 2023 by

WVA Says Hungary Proposed Vape Rules Excessive

The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA), a global vaping consumer advocacy group, has great concern for the Hungarian Government’s draft decree which aims to amend the current regulation of nicotine pouches and vaping.

The proposed regulations, if enacted, would introduce restrictions that may hinder access to safer alternatives for smokers and harm reduction options, according to an emailed press release.

December 20, 2021 by

Hungary: Plain Packaging Rules to go in Effect in January

There are roughly 2.5 million smokers in Hungary. The EU country has been incrementally increasing tobacco taxes for the last few years, and recent findings of joint research by Pulzus Inc. and economic news portal, found that reactions to the tax increments vary. “23% of smokers claimed that this increased price was already too high, and would quit smoking. [...] Meanwhile, the EU and the Hungarian state keep pushing to further tobacco restrictions and a regulation requiring that cigarette packs are only sold in plain packaging is to go in effect this January. [...]

September 27, 2021 by

All Cigarette Packaging to Look the Same as of January

In the past two decades, our accession to the European Union has also brought changes: in a duty-free world, there was no longer a need for so many local manufacturers, and in 2004 several large Hungarian factories closed down immediately. Then Hungary had to adjust to EU tax minima, which meant a 100% increase in consumer prices over eight years, even in a decade of low inflation. The regulation of tobacco shops has also completely rewritten the sector. [...]

April 07, 2021 by

Steep Tobacco Price Increase Too Much for Hungarians’ Pockets

Hungary once again raised the excise tax on tobacco, taking the price of a pack of cigarettes to historic heights. According to a survey, this could eventually drive many to give up cigarettes.

After failing to comply with the EU regulations on the tobacco excise tax for years, it was eventually the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) recent statement that drove Hungary to hike the tobacco tax. While the EU reasoned that by failing to reach the threshold, Hungary was distorting competition within the bloc and violating EU health protection regulations, the government said it wanted a gradual hike [...]

March 18, 2020 by

Hungary: A Predicted Drop in E-Liquid Prices

Coming into effect on the 1st of March, a lower excise tax on nicotine-containing e-liquids has dropped prices from HUF 55 per ml, to HUF 20 per ml. In Hungary, black market sales are thought to account for approximately 80 to 85% of all e-liquid sales, and BAT has estimated that while there are approximately 200,000 e-cigarette users in the country, many of whom may be unaware that they are purchasing unregulated products. “Hungarian e-cigarette consumers need to be given a chance to access quality refill liquids, just like in other European countries,” says Zoltán Orosz, [...]

January 28, 2020 by

E-cigarette liquid prices to fall

A legislation coming into effect on March 1 is set to lower the excise tax on e-cigarette liquids that contain nicotine, meaning that prices are expected to drop at national tobacco shops. The tax will be lowered from the current HUF 55 per ml to HUF 20 per ml. 

BAT Pécsi Dohány Gyár Kft., a subsidiary of BAT, says that it welcomes the decision, as it does not only make higher-quality products more accessible but help fighting black market liquid sales. Currently, black market sales account for an outstandingly high 80-85% of all e-cigarette liquid sales in Hungary, according to estimates by BAT.

October 15, 2019 by

EC takes Hungary to court over cigarette excise tax

Hungary was allowed a long transitional period until December 31, 2017, in order to gradually increase the excise duty on cigarettes and reach the required minimum threshold, recalled a press release on the Commission website.

Currently, the excise duty applied by Hungary remains below the EU threshold, generating distortions of competition with other Member States, and is at odds with EU health protection policy, it noted.