Prices Of Cigarette in Australia 2023

Cigarette Prices in Australia: Exploring the Cost of Smoking Down Under

Cigarette Prices in Australia

Australia has some of the most costly cigarettes in the world. Learn the price of a pack of smokes at Coles, Woolworths, or your neighborhood convenience shop.
The most costly nations for smokers have remained the same since 2019, with Norway and the United Kingdom rounding out the top five. France, renowned for its tolerance of smoking, has raised its costs from $8.88 in 2019 to $11.70 in 2021. Cigarette costs in the United States have risen more slowly, rising from $7.43 per pack in 2019 to $15 per pack this year.

Here are Australia’s most recent cigarette prices:

  • RYO tobacco costs between $34.95 and $74.95
  • a packet of 50 cigarettes costs $53.95
  • a packet of 40 cigarettes costs $49.63
  • a packet of 35 cigarettes costs $41.95
  • a packet of 30 cigarettes costs $38.11
  • a packet of 25 cigarettes costs $29.48
  • a packet of 20 cigarettes costs $23.86


Australia is the most costly country in the world to be a smoker, with one pack alone costing an Australian smoker more than US$26. New Zealand, Australia’s neighbor, is almost as expensive, with a 20-pack of Malboros costing upwards of US$24. According to Numbeo, the third most costly country in the chart is Ireland, where the similar pack costs over US$16. Smoking is a prevalent habit that has significant health and financial consequences. One of the key factors influencing smoking behavior is the price of cigarettes. In Australia, the cost of cigarettes has been a subject of much debate and analysis. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the intricate details of cigarette prices in Australia, exploring their impact on public health, the economy, and individual smokers. We will examine the factors influencing the cost of cigarettes, the current trends, and the government’s efforts to curb smoking through pricing strategies.

Cigarette Prices in Australia

Cigarette prices in Australia have skyrocketed over the past decade, making it one of the most expensive countries in the world to purchase cigarettes. The combination of high tobacco taxes, strict regulations, and public health campaigns has led to a steady increase in cigarette prices. As a result, Australia has witnessed a decline in smoking rates, as individuals are deterred by the exorbitant costs associated with the habit.

Factors Influencing Cigarette Prices

Cigarette Prices in Australia

Several factors contribute to the high cigarette prices in Australia. Understanding these factors is crucial to comprehend the rationale behind the pricing structure and its implications. Let’s take a closer look at the key influencers:

1. Government Taxes and Levies

The Australian government imposes hefty taxes and levies on tobacco products as a deterrent measure. These taxes are designed to discourage smoking and generate revenue for public health initiatives. The high taxes account for a significant portion of the retail price of cigarettes, making them an expensive commodity.

So, why has the price of cigarettes climbed so dramatically over the previous 30 years?Taxes are primarily to blame for the shift. Tobacco tariffs, fees, and taxes have traditionally been the primary drivers of the ultimate retail price of cigarettes (as opposed to manufacturing costs or marketing variables, which influence the pricing of the majority of other consumer items).The final earnings for tobacco producers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are determined by the cost of raw materials, manufacturing processes, promotional efforts, and distribution of tobacco products, rather than the price of cigarettes themselves.Heavy tobacco taxes in Australia have caused a price increase in all tobacco products, not just cigarettes.

2. Excise Duties

In addition to taxes, the Australian government levies excise duties on tobacco products. These duties are specific to the quantity of tobacco in a cigarette. As a result, cigarettes with higher tobacco content attract higher excise duties, further contributing to their elevated prices.

Since the introduction of the Excise and Customs Acts in 1901, the federal government has placed excise taxes on Australian-made tobacco products and customs duties on imported items.Prior to 1999, federal taxes and customs charges were computed based on the weight of tobacco goods. The weight of the paper and filter were listed, however the weight of the package was not.Cigarettes were taxed one shilling per pound of product weight in the early 1900s. Duty on tobacco cigarettes was greater than duty on tobacco items other than cigarettes.A variety of adjustments to tobacco taxes and customs duties were made in 1983. To begin, the federal excise tax and customs duty on tobacco goods were tied to the Australian Consumer Price Index (CPI). This meant that tobacco taxes and customs would automatically increase twice a year. This is still going on today.Furthermore, the tariff rate on cigars was raised to match that on cigarettes.Finally, the non-cigarette tobacco tax was raised by $5 per kg.The tax rate on tobacco smoking goods (per kilo) was raised by $5, $5, and $1.90 in the budgets of 1984, 1985, and 1986, respectively.Tobacco products manufactured in Australia were formerly taxed at a lower rate than imported tobacco. However, in 1994, excise taxes and customs charges were made equal.

3. Importation Costs

Australia has strict regulations on tobacco importation. The costs associated with importing tobacco products, including customs duties and compliance with regulations, add to the overall price of cigarettes. These importation costs are reflected in the final retail price, making cigarettes more expensive for consumers.

4. Packaging and Labelling Requirements

Australia has implemented plain packaging and graphic health warnings on cigarette packs, which aim to discourage smoking and inform consumers about the risks associated with tobacco use. The cost of implementing and maintaining these packaging and labelling requirements is borne by cigarette manufacturers and subsequently passed on to consumers through higher prices.

5. Retail Margins

Retailers in Australia add their profit margins to the wholesale cost of cigarettes, contributing to the final retail price. These margins vary among retailers, but they generally account for a small portion of the overall price compared to government taxes and levies.

Trends in Cigarette Prices

Over the years, cigarette prices in Australia have experienced a consistent upward trajectory. The Australian government’s focus on reducing smoking rates, coupled with increasing health awareness among the population, has led to a sustained effort to increase cigarette prices. Let’s explore the trends that have emerged in recent years:

1. Yearly Price Hikes

The government has implemented annual price hikes on tobacco products to discourage smoking and counteract inflation. These price increases have been significant, surpassing the general inflation rate and resulting in a substantial burden on smokers’ wallets.

2. Price Disparities between States

Cigarette prices can vary across different states in Australia. This disparity is primarily due to variations in state taxes and levies. For example, New South Wales and Victoria often have higher cigarette prices compared to Queensland and South Australia.

3. Impact of Minimum Pack Sizes

The Australian government introduced a minimum pack size requirement, mandating that cigarette packs

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