Tobacco: Prices In France And Italy, What We Can Bring Back… Update On What Changes In 2024

Tobacco prices soar in March 2024 as France implements another round of increases.This hike marks the second consecutive month of price adjustments, with certain brands witnessing a rise of 50 to 75 cents per packet. 

As the average cost of a single packet hits €11.50, the government aims to deter smoking and promote public health.Despite these efforts, mixed messages arise as import limits on personal tobacco purchases within the EU are lifted, allowing consumers to procure larger supplies at potentially lower costs from neighboring countries.

Cigarettes 200

Cigarettes 200 refers to a recent change in France’s tobacco purchasing regulations.Now, individuals can bring back up to 200 cigarettes from other European Union countries for personal use. 

This update comes as part of efforts to adjust import rules, aiming to provide consumers with more flexibility in their tobacco purchases.Previously, the limit stood at one carton per person.The new allowance of 200 cigarettes per person marks a significant increase, allowing travelers to stock up on tobacco products more conveniently. 

This adjustment is designed to accommodate personal consumption needs while still maintaining regulations to prevent excessive importation for commercial purposes.

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Cigarettes 400

Cigarettes 400 refers to a significant change in France’s tobacco regulations.Starting in March 2024, the limit on personal tobacco imports from other EU countries has been lifted.This means that individuals can now bring back more than one carton of cigarettes for personal use when returning from countries like Italy, Spain, Belgium and Germany.


The French government aims to create a smoking-free society by 2032, with recent price hikes and bans on smoking in public spaces.The removal of import limits presents smokers with the opportunity to obtain cigarettes at potentially lower prices from neighboring countries, despite the high costs domestically.

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Cigars & Cigarillos

Cigars and cigarillos are popular tobacco products enjoyed by many people worldwide.They come in various shapes, sizes and flavors, offering a diverse range of smoking experiences. Unlike cigarettes, which are typically made from shredded tobacco wrapped in paper, cigars and cigarillos consist of whole tobacco leaves tightly rolled into a cylindrical shape. 

These tobacco products are often associated with relaxation and socializing, with enthusiasts savoring the rich flavors and aromas they provide.It is essential to remember that cigars and cigarillos still contain harmful substances like nicotine and tar, which can pose health risks when consumed regularly.Therefore, it is essential to enjoy them in moderation and be mindful of their impact on personal health.

Hand Rolling Tobacco

Hand rolling tobacco, also known as rolling tobacco, is tobacco that is packaged in loose form, allowing users to roll their own cigarettes.It is a popular choice for smokers who prefer to customize their smoking experience. 


This type of tobacco is often sold in pouches, tins and comes in various flavors and strengths to suit different preferences. Many people enjoy hand rolling tobacco because it offers a more affordable option compared to pre rolled cigarettes.

Rolling tobacco allows smokers to control the size and tightness of their cigarettes, providing a sense of satisfaction and personalization.It is essential to be mindful of health risks associated with smoking, regardless of the form of tobacco used.

Your customs guidelines

  • Know what you can bring into the country
  • Check customs regulations before traveling
  • Declare items exceeding duty free allowance
  • Avoid issues with customs officials
  • Ensure smooth entry into the country

Energy Cheque Deadline

Make sure to use your energy cheques before March 31, 2024, to offset your gas and electricity bills.These cheques were sent out in 2023 to over five million homes in France.If you are planning on using them for energy efficient home renovations, you have the option to exchange them for a later version, valid for up to two years.

Shopping Laws Set to Change


Starting March 1, 2024, non food items will face the same restrictions as perishable goods when it comes to discounts and special offers.This means products like personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, beauty products and perfumes cannot be sold with discounts exceeding 34%. The aim is to create a fairer marketplace between suppliers and distributors of these products.

Jobseekers’ ‘work for benefits’ trial expands

  • RSA recipients may need to work and train for 15 hours weekly.
  • The trial now includes over half of French departments.
  • Exceptions may apply in specific situations.
  • Goal: Decrease unemployment rates.
  • National rollout planned for 2025.

Another Tobacco Price Hike

In March 2024, France saw another increase in tobacco prices, making it the second consecutive month of hikes.This adjustment aims to discourage smoking by raising the average cost of a single packet to €11.50

Specific brands, such as Lucky Strike and Rothmans, experience price rises of 50 to 75 cents per packet, contributing to the government’s efforts to promote public health.

Deadline to Use Restaurant Vouchers

March 1 marks the deadline for using paper restaurant vouchers distributed to employees in 2023.These vouchers must be utilized before the deadline, although unused ones can be exchanged for 2024 versions through the provider’s website. 


This measure ensures that employees can enjoy the benefits of these vouchers while facilitating their transition to the latest offerings.

New Driving Test Rules for Automatic Vehicle Drivers

Starting March 2024, individuals obtaining their driving licenses solely for automatic vehicles will no longer face a three month waiting period before starting manual transmission lessons.The transition process to a manual license will incorporate more practical training elements. 

These changes aim to enhance road safety and provide drivers with greater flexibility in their driving capabilities.

Franchise médicale to double

Starting March 31, the franchise médicale, a fee for prescribed medicines and treatments, will increase from 50 cents to €1.Some exceptions remain and individuals have an annual limit of €50.Changes to medical transport reimbursement may soon take effect, impacting healthcare costs.

Pension contribution changes


Those receiving the Agirc Arrco supplementary retirement pensions may experience adjustments based on changes in their CSG bracket.Notifications regarding pension rate changes will be included in pension statements for March 2024.These modifications aim to ensure pension contributions align with individuals’ financial circumstances.


Is there a limit to how much one can pay for the franchise médicale?

Yes, individuals have an annual limit of €50 for the franchise médicale.

What changes are expected in pension contributions?

Changes in CSG brackets may lead to adjustments in pension rates for Agirc Arrco supplementary retirement pensions.

When will individuals be notified of changes in pension contributions?

Notifications regarding changes in pension rates will be included in pension statements for March 2024.

Final Thought

The changes taking place in France in March 2024 impact various aspects of residents’ lives, from healthcare costs to pension contributions.It is essential for individuals to stay informed about these updates and understand how they may affect them personally. 

By being aware of the new regulations and guidelines, people can navigate these changes more effectively and ensure compliance with the law. Staying updated allows individuals to plan and adjust their finances and routines accordingly. Overall, staying informed and proactive is key to adapting to the evolving landscape of policies and regulations in France.

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