Czechs will have to pay more for spirits and tobacco products in 2020.
Under a tax amendment approved by Parliament in December the excise tax on tobacco and cigarettes will go up by 10 percent in 2020, while that on spirits by 13 percent.
Certain forms of gambling will also see a tax increase from 23 to 25 percent.
While the ministry expects the price of a packet of cigarettes to rise by around five crowns next year, tobacco companies say consumers are likely to pay an extra 12 or 13 crowns.
The creator of the Czech Republic’s most famous liquor, Josef Vitus Becher, was born exactly 250 years ago in Karlovy Vary. It was he who invented the drink, which has come to be known as “Becherovka”, by adjusting a recipe he received from an English physician called Christian Frobrig. The liquor has since become one of the most recognised Czech exports.
Health Minister Adam Vojtěch is preparing a draft bill which would
restrict advertising of tobacco and alcohol in the electronic media.
In a debate on TV Prima the minister said this was part of a broader effort to change harmful behavioural patterns.
Alcohol and tobacco are among the top causes of preventable deaths in the country. Minister Vojtěch noted that some children have their first experience with alcohol at the age of 12.
The government has also pushed through the lower house a bill to raise the tax on alcohol and tobacco which should come into effect next year.
The Civic Democrats have come out with a new amendment to Czech driving legislation, which would allow drivers to have up to two lagers before taking the wheel. They hope to table the proposal at the next session of the Chamber of Deputies, but there appears to be scant support for the idea in the lower house.
Czechs spend a bigger share of their family budget on alcohol and
cigarettes than they invest in their health, according to Eurostat data
cited by the daily Hospodářské noviny.
One in nine adults has a drink problem and one in four smokes. This is the wort result in a comparative study of EU member states.
On average a Czech family spends 3.3 percent of its annual budget on alcoholic beverages and 4.3 percent on cigarettes, while 0.5 percent of the budget is spent on education and 2.4 percent on medicines and other health products.
The seventh annual Dry February, aimed at highlighting the dangers of
excessive drinking, will begin in the Czech Republic on Friday. The event
is organised by the group League of Open Men but is also encouraging women
to not drink a drop of alcohol during February.
The group has a dedicated website offering tips on exercises and alternative, non-alcoholic drinks, as well as advice from psychologists. Czechs rank among the top five nations in the world in terms of annual consumption of pure alcohol per head.
The Carlsbad based Jan Becher company, which produces the iconic Czech liquor known as ‘Becherovka’, has announced record export numbers for the fiscal year between July 2017 – July 2018, with eight percent growth. In a press release on Wednesday, the company said it intends to focus more on exports to western countries in the future.