Cigarette prices increase by up to 44 percent

Recent tax hikes introduced by the Turkish government last week prompted a major Turkish-US consortium cigarette producer to increase cigarette prices by between 28 and 44 percent.

Philsa Philip Morris, a consortium of US cigarette producing giant Philip Morris and Turkish giant conglomerate Sabancı Holding, announced on Monday that the company had to revise cigarette prices due to new high taxes announced by the government.

Piled cigarettes

Piled cigarettes

The Turkish government on Thursday raised the private consumption tax (ÖTV) on cars and mobile phones as well as on tobacco and alcoholic products and will collect $3 billion in extra revenue per year. The tax hikes came as measures to curb the imports of certain products, while also increasing revenues at a time of intensifying global risks.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, responding to a new round of tax increases, has defended the measures as necessary to avoid economic woes like those in Greece and advised taxpayers to quit smoking and cut back on their consumption of alcohol to keep their budget intact.

“Don’t smoke and the problem is solved. Consume less alcohol and the problem is solved. Instead of riding a Porsche, use a Fiat. Cut back on expenses,” Erdoğan said during an address to lawmakers of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the town of Kızılcahamam, near Ankara, on Saturday.

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