Too little too late - a critical view of Bulgaria’s increased excise tax regime
More details
Hide details
BlueLink Foundation, Sofia, Bulgaria
Publication date: 2023-10-08
Corresponding author
Pavel Antonov   

BlueLink Foundation, Sofia, Bulgaria
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement 2):A88
In December 2023 Bulgaria’s Parliament approved a higher excise tax on tobacco products.The move followed a long lasting battle by Bulgaria’s tobacco control movement represented by the Bulgarian Coalition for Smokefree Life (BCSL), and a heated public debate. The Parliament’s decision envisages a gradual increase in excise duty from March 1, 2023 to January 1, 2026. As a result over the next 4 years the prices of cheap cigarettes are expected to rise more than those of expensive cigarettes - about 20-30 cents per pack per year for mass cigarettes and 13-14 cents for the more expensive ones. The biggest increase will be for smokeless products, which should increase in price by 40 cents per year. The price of a package of smoking tobacco, which currently sells for about BGN 10, will rise by 70-80 cents a year. How did the policy change of tobacco taxation meet BCSL’s demands? How does the new tobacco taxation regime contribute to FCTC’s goals? The proposed paper will try to respond analytically to these questions and provide a critical assessment of Bulgaria’s new tobacco taxation policy from the perspective of the tobacco control movement. For this purpose the authors will trace the policy demands, arguments and demands that shaped the public and political debate in Bulgaria during 2022. It will outline the efforts taken by the BCSL and examine their effects, in the Bulgarian context. Using comparative analysis of scientific and political arguments exchanged as well as semi-structured interviews and other action research methods, the authors conclude that in spite of their positive direction, the new policy measure are more likely a compromise in favour of tobacco industry’s interest, rather than a victory for public health.
The presenting author is a Board Member of the Coalition for Smoke-free Life in Bulgaria.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top