Russia: Proposes health tax on tobacco products

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The Ministry of Health announced a proposal on 16 March 2017, to impose a health tax on tobacco products, based on the recommendations of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation following discussions of the new anti-smoking strategy. Currently, the aggregate taxes imposed on tobacco products amount to 47.6% of the cost of a cigarette pack. It is proposed to increase the aggregate tax to 70% with further increases in the future.

However, in January, the Health Minister of Russia signed a document that contains new initiatives regulating smoking in the years to come. Among the major proposals included is a blanket ban on selling cigarettes and tobacco, which will only apply to people born in 2015 or later. Once approved, the ban will be implemented starting 2033, when children born in 2015 reach the country’s legal smoking age of 18.

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