The national cigarette market is constantly changing, according to Telex. The anti-smoking trend, which warns of health risks, has had an impact, since domestic consumption has fallen by a quarter in a decade, according to quantitative indicators.
Over the past two decades, our membership of the European Union has also brought changes: in a tax-free world there was no longer a need for so many local manufacturers, and in 2004 several large Hungarian factories immediately moved firm. 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. Tobacco shop regulations have also completely rewritten the industry. Finally, in 2020, COVID led to a drop in tobacco outlets in the capital and near the Austrian border (Sopron, for example), but the legal market in the east of the country increased by 50%, with some cities experiencing a tripling. in turnover. COVID has reduced traffic at the Ukrainian border, making smuggling more difficult.
Before the big brands appeared in Hungary, Hungarian products dominated the market. Today there is only one Hungarian company in the country, Continental. Due to the exorbitant taxes, the producer gets a little more than 10 percent of the final price of his product.
While tobacco taxes represent a large part of state revenue, the EU and the Hungarian state are pushing for tighter tobacco sales. It was already not possible to have a “positive” advertisement on the products, it was not possible to write that they are without additives, nor to write the level of tar and nicotine they contain. – nothing suggests that a product is less harmful. Product characteristics such as vanilla or menthol have also been removed.
And from January 1, 2022, brand attributes will disappear completely from tobacco products.
Featured Image: The quality of a tobacco grower’s baled crop is checked at ULT Hungary Kft. central purchasing office in NyÃregyhÃ¡za, Hungary. Photo by Attila BalÃ¡zs / MTI