Is it difficult to answer why the Polish government does everything possible to make cheese, milk and vegetables cheaper than cigarettes? Ukrainians can take home from Poland healthy Polish products, while in return Ukraine sells cheap Ukrainian cigarettes to Poland.
Poles are lucky because the “father of Polish economic reforms, Leszek Balcerowicz, was well aware that life expectancy could be increased by policies which make healthy products like fruit cheaper and unhealthy products like tobacco more expensive. The way to do that is by increasing tobacco taxes.
High tobacco taxes not only improve a nation’s health, they also increase budget revenues. According to the State Tax Administration, the budget got Hr 11.5 billion in the first nine months of 2011, which is Hr 2 billion more comparing to similar period last year.