Several doctors have published, Thursday, 11 October, an open letter to the minister of health, Agnes Buzyn, to “further protect the French from the alcohol” in the taxing more, while the budget in 2019, social Security is examined in commission in the national Assembly.

the authors of the letter to feel sorry to see that the funds of addictions to psychoactive substances is supplemented to the tune of 100 million euros in taxes on tobacco, and of eur 10 million for future fines on cannabis, but does not include any funding related to alcohol. They believe, however, that ” taxing more heavily the alcohol is necessary in order to fund prevention and care, and especially to reduce its consumption, particularly in the younger “.

indeed, the current taxes on alcohol are much less numerous and much more complex than the taxation of tobacco products.

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different fees depending on the types of alcohol

In addition to the value added tax of 20 %, the alcohol – such as tobacco, oil or other luxury products, or pollutant – is subject to an indirect tax called ” excise duty “. But it has not the same amount depending on the nature of the product.

Thus, the consumption tax on tobacco (DCT) – themselves split into a proportional part and a specific part – amounts, which may vary from the simple to the double, see triple, depending on whether roll-your own tobacco, snuff, cigars, or cigarettes.

For alcohol, the number of categories and modes of calculation is even more complex, as the precise site douane.gouv.fr to :

the wines of “quiet” (non-bullés) are taxed to 3.78 euros per hectolitre, which is three times less than sparkling wines (9,35 euros per hectolitre) ;beers, they are taxed according to their degree of alcohol (with a tax that goes 3.71 € 7,42 € per hectolitre and per degree)but also the size of the brewery ;for alcohol, the tax is much higher, is calculated on the” per hl of pure alcohol ” with a reduced rate for the train of thought (privilege on the verge of extinction), but also for the rums overseas (871 euros instead of 1 741 euros).

In addition to the excise tax plus social Security contributions specific on the drinks over 18o of alcohol, as well as the ” premix “, and mixtures of alcoholic drinks and very sweet for young people.

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In theory, taxes should be related to the degree of alcohol, but the wine – protected by influential lobbies – is much less taxed than other products.

excise taxes account for 1 % of the price of the wine, 32 % of a strong alcohol and 65 % of a pack of cigarettes Examples of decomposition of the price of sale of several products (in 2018 for the cigarette, based on the ratio 2016 of the Court of auditors on the alcohol) Source : Customs, Court of auditors

As noted in a report of the Court of auditors of 2016, the French tax is more oriented towards protection of national production (with France as a great nation wine) and towards public health objectives. Thus, the wines represent 60 % of the consumed alcoholic beverages in France, but only 3.6 % of the excise duty.

The wines, much more consumed, but much less taxed than beer and spirits Data for the year 2015. Source : Court of auditors

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alcohol : 49 000 deaths per year

In a perspective of public health, the tobacco-related mortality is of great concern, since it considers that smoking is the leading cause of cancer, is responsible for 73,000 premature deaths per year.

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But just after tobacco, alcohol is the second preventable cause of death. Including cancers, liver cirrhosis, road accidents and cardio-vascular diseases, the consumption of alcohol was responsible for 49,000 deaths per year, according to a 2009 study.

In the social Security budget, the contribution of tobacco taxes, which amounted to € 14 billion in 2018, which is much higher than the income of beverage alcohol products, which amount to only 4 billion euros.