Tobacco industry in Poland - statistics & facts

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the Polish tobacco market has been undergoing profound changes. They have been influenced by, among other things, Poland's accession to the European Union, increase in societal wealth, lifestyle changes, and the introduction of new regulations. Some of these transformations affected the industry. An EU directive imposed an obligation on Poland to increase its excise duty and reach a minimum of 60 percent of the retail price. The increase in excise duty has had an impact on the change in sales volumes, stimulated the development of illicit tobacco production and smuggling, which has resulted in Poland losing billions in tax revenues every year. Nevertheless, the fight against the black economy, the country's economic development, and the gradual affluence of society have allowed the tobacco industry to stabilize and, in the long run, develop dynamically.

Characteristics of the tobacco industry in Poland

Poland is the second largest exporter of tobacco products in the European Union and third in the world. It is also one of the largest manufacturers of tobacco products, such as cigarettes and smoking tobacco, in the EU. In 2018, Polish unprocessed tobacco production represented 18.6 percent of EU production. Companies such as Philip Morris, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International, and British American Tobacco have their business premises in Poland.

The tobacco sector is an essential segment of the Polish economy. Since 2005, the industry's gross value added has increased almost sixfold, indicating its growing importance in creating Polish income. Value added is the most commonly used measure of a sector's contribution to a country's GDP.
Cigarette production has increased by 47 percent over the last decade. In 2019, the value of the tobacco industry production was estimated at nearly 46 billion Polish zloty. Growing exports strongly influenced the increase in production and its value. In 2019, exports amounted to 3.7 billion euros, with a positive trade balance of 2.8 billion euros. The primary recipients of "made in Poland" tobacco products were EU countries.

Consumption of tobacco products

Cigarette consumption per capita in Poland has decreased by over 41 percent since 2005. The main factors contributing are the promotion of healthy lifestyles, restrictions associated with smoking in public places, rising prices, and growing public awareness of how tobacco use impacts health. Nonetheless, 26 percent of the population in Poland smoke cigarettes, the most significant proportion of which are men between 40 and 49 years old. Apart from traditional cigarettes, Poles also prefer rolling tobacco. Yet, for several years now, there has been growing interest in new products such as electronic cigarettes and tobacco heaters. They are most often used by young people between the ages of 18 and 24. For over 60 percent of smokers, e-cigarettes have become a way to quit smoking. The growing popularity of these innovative products is also due to fashion, health reasons, and the lower price compared to traditional cigarettes.

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Tobacco industry in Poland

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