The german state earned less from smokers last year. A total of 26.4 billion euros worth of tobacco products were taxed, according to the federal office of statistics.
That was 1.7 percent more than in 2017. Of this, 14.2 billion (down 0.5 percent) went to the treasury. The decline was attributed by the wiesbaden authorities mainly to lower sales of cigarettes, the most important item among tobacco products.
According to the statisticians, the volume of taxed cigarettes fell by 1.9 percent to 74 billion units. However, there was an increase in all other tobacco products.
Sales of cigars and cigarillos rose particularly sharply – by 6.5 percent to 3 billion units. Sales of pipe tobacco increased by 2.7 percent. This includes tobacco for water pipes and new types of pipe tobacco products, so-called vaporizers. The quantity of taxed fine cut for self-rolling increased slightly by 0.2 percent. E-cigarettes are not recorded by the statistics.
Statisticians record sales via tax stamps obtained by manufacturers. The data, however, provide little information about how much smoking actually takes place.
According to the federal government’s 2018 drug and addiction report, the proportion of young people smoking has fallen by two-thirds over the past ten to 15 years. Among adults, the proportion of smokers has fallen since 2003 from just under 39 percent to 27 percent for men, and from 29 percent to 21 percent for women.
According to the german cigarette association (DZV), last year’s development was "in line with the decline we expected in the annual consumption estimates," explained managing director jan mucke. In may 2016, shock photos were introduced on cigarette packets warning of the dangers of smoking. Adult smokers, however, had been largely unimpressed, the DZV argues.