Tobacco Control Scale 2019
1. UK (1 --). The UK remains
number one but is not doing well on funding (zero points) and is no longer the
leader on prices (due to some extent to the weakness of the Pound). The UK is
the second country in the world to adopt plain packaging legislation. England,
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland banned smoking in cars when minors are
present. The UK ratified the WHO FCTC Illicit Trade Protocol.
2. France (4 ▲2). A pack of Marlboro costed €9,30 in
2019 compared to €7 in 2016 (+33%). France is the third country in the world
which adopted plain packaging. In addition, France ratified the WHO FCTC
Illicit Trade Protocol, organised media campaigns “a month without tobacco”, banned
advertising at the point of sales and smoking in private cars when minors are
present. The French Tobacco Fund (Fonds de lutte contre le tabac) had a budget
of 100 million euro in 2018.
(2 ▼1). Ireland adopted plain packaging
legislation and banned smoking in cars when minors are present. The nominal
value of cigarettes prices is the highest in Europe (€13,50 a pack in 2020) but
as result of the increase in affordability, Ireland lost points in the price
scoring. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Power Purchasing Standards per
capita was 187 in 2018 compared to 145 in 2015 (+30%).
Germany (33 ▼3). The
lowest TCS score. No new tobacco control policies introduced since 2010 except
for the transposition of the 2014 EU Tobacco Products Directive and the
ratification of the WHO FCTC Illicit Trade Protocol. Germany is the only EU country which still allows tobacco advertising on
billboards. There are initiatives to ban billboard tobacco advertising, but still
with long transition periods.
35. Switzerland (21 ▼14). Switzerland is the homeland for international tobacco
companies, has very weak tobacco advertising legislation and is the only
country in this survey which has not ratified the WHO Framework Convention on
Tobacco Control. Since 2017, the Federal Council (cabinet) has no more the
competence to increase cigarette taxes. The last time the Federal Council
increased the tax by 10 cents was in 2013. A price increase is only possible
when tobacco companies increase their price and thus their profits (16). Switzerland
seems to be more interested in the well-being of the tobacco companies than in
the health of its citizens (17).
34. Luxembourg (33 ▼1).
Luxembourg is the richest country in the EU and has very low taxes on tobacco
products, in order to attract cross border shopping from neighbouring
countries. Luxembourg banned smoking in private cars when minors are present
and ratified the WHO FCTC Illicit Trade Protocol.
Austria (35 ▲15).
A positive development in Austria with comprehensive and enforced smoke free
legislation since 1 November 2019. Austria had the lowest TCS ranking since 2007
but moved from the lowest ranking to number 20 of the list now. Austria was the
first European country to ratify the WHO FCTC Illicit Trade Protocol. Price and
tax levels remain low.
13. Greece (31 ▲18).
Like in Austria a positive development.
New legislation was adopted in 2019 to enforce the 2010 smoke free legislation
and it works. Greece moved from ranking 31 in 2016 to ranking 13.
Slovenia (28 ▲20).
Slovenia has introduced an impressive list of tobacco control measures which
includes plain packaging, advertising ban at the point of sales, display ban
and smoking ban in private cars when minors are present. The ranking of
Slovenia improved from 28 in 2016 to 8 in 2019.