The Ministries of Finance and Health are separately working on ways to reduce tobacco consumption via two different routes, with the ultimate plan being creating a new Law for the Regulation of the Tobacco Market and Taxation Regulations, which has not been amended since 1998.
The price increases would be implemented without warning, in order to avoid bulk-buying in advance.
In Spain tobacco use currently generates €9 billion in taxes each year and the Spanish Health Department is looking into raising tobacco tax further. Minister of Health Salvador Illa said that different tobacco products such as combustible cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco, currently have different tax rates, and the aim is to have them taxed in the same way.
Interestingly, the Ministry is planning to implement the price increases without warning, in order to avoid bulk-buying in advance. Additionally, the Health Department is also looking into extending smoke-free areas so that smoking would be banned in private cars, especially if there are children onboard.
Aligning with the WHO and EU TPD frameworks
In parallel, the Ministry of Finance wants to tighten the tobacco regulatory framework, so as to be in line with WHO and EU TPD standards, in particular with regards to regulations concerning vaping products and other electronic devices. In line with this, there are ongoing plans to increase sanctions on importers with the aim of reducing the illegal trafficking of tobacco products.
The draft of the new tobacco bill may be expected to be ready by September so that the changes can be presented to the Congress of Deputies before the end of the year.
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