Police raided a large-scale illegal cigarette factory in the Liberec region
at the weekend and detained a foreign national allegedly running it on
charges of tax evasion.
A spokesman for a special police unit for fighting organized crime (NCOZ) said agents had seized nine tons of raw tobacco in addition to equipment.
The accused planned to import machinery and several tons of raw tobacco to expand the illegal cigarette production line, NCOZ spokesman Jaroslav Ibehej said.
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.
Just two months after a strict smoking ban came into effect in pubs and restaurants around the Czech Republic smokers are getting acquainted with a novel product on the market –heat-not-burn tobacco products which are said to be less detrimental to health and which might allow them to “smoke” in public places once again. The Czech authorities have yet to set the norms for these products which are something between a classic and electronic cigarette.
The law on electronic cash registers which is being introduced in several phases is likely to cause problems at upcoming summer music festivals. Many stall-owners who previous provided refreshments at these events are concerned about reprisals and are seeking ways to avoid having to issue receipts, while others have cancelled attendance. The organizers say they fear long queues and poor service.
The rate of Czech inflation speeded up in August to 0.6 percent year-on-year compared with 0.5 percent in July. Higher prices for alcohol and tobacco were among the main factors fuelling the rise. A slowdown in the drop in food prices, which has been a feature of recent months, and higher charges for utilities also contributed. The Czech National Bank has a long term inflation target of 2.0 percent which it has long struggled to look like achieving. Some analysts, however, see a chance that the inflation rate might rise to beyond 1.0 percent by the end of the year.
Distributors in the Czech Republic will no longer be able to trade in cigarettes that do not come in boxes with graphic health warnings from September 7. Public sales will be barred from December 7. The precise dates were released on Thursday by the Czech branch of the company Japan Tobacco International. President Miloš Zeman signed an amendment introducing graphic warnings at the end of last month. The new norm is in line with EU legislation.
A group of MPs from the opposition and more significantly within the ruling coalition have made clear their intent to try and soften legislation aimed at banning smoking at all Czech restaurants, bars and similar premises. Although the proposal passed in a first reading, and was backed by the lower house’s health committee, some MPs view the situation differently, putting forward more than a dozen amendments.
Cigarette packets in the Czech Republic will have to carry graphic images meant to deter smokers alongside the present written health warnings under a new regulation being prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, iHned.cz reported. The edict will come into effect on May 20 and retailers will have a three-month period in which to sell off older supplies, the news site said. Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka said the government’s main concern was making the public more aware of the risks associated with smoking and that 65 percent of the front and back of cigarette packets would now be given over to health warnings.
The price of a pack of 20 cigarettes in the Czech Republic will increase by CZK 3 or 4 from January 1. The change is due to an EU directive under which consumer tax on 1,000 cigarettes must reach EUR 90 (CZK 2430); the weak crown means that the Czech Republic would not fulfil this requirement and would face sanctions. Cigars and rolling tobacco will also go up in price from the New Year. Tax on cigarettes in the Czech Republic last went up in December 2014.
In a first reading, lawmakers in the Czech lower house on Tuesday backed a government bill proposing a full ban on smoking in all cafes, bars and restaurants. The opposition Civic Democrats as well as some members of the communist party came out against but were unable to derail the legislation. It will now be reviewed by Parliamentary committees.