The price hike from the current 40 kroner will take place in two stages, with a 5 krone increase in both 2020 and 2021, according to Danish media reports.
Several parties in the country’s parliament have expressed their desire to raise cigarette prices, but social and health minister Magnus Heunicke said he was concerned about the social impact of a steep increase.
“We can’t have different prices in Denmark. For young people, that is a lot of money, so we think this is the right level,” the minister said to the Danmark media.
The price raise is part of a wider range of proposals to be presented by the government aimed at reducing the number of young people who smoke. Other elements include neutral packaging and a ban on displaying cigarettes in stores.
Heunicke also called for stricter application of the law preventing cigarette sales to under 18s and harsher fines for illegal sales.
Opposition health spokesperson Sophie Løhde of the Liberal party said the increase proposed by the Social Democrat government did not go far enough.
“I’m very disappointed. The health minister seems to think he’s the tax minister and that revenues [from taxing tobacco sales, ed.] are more important than the goal of making young people and children smoke-free,” Løhde said.
The Liberals recently called for a price increase to 60 kroner per packet of cigarettes.
Løhde also said there may be enough support amongst other parties for a parliamentary majority to get behind a higher price increase, even without government support.