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EU ministers agree to boost tax on cigarettes

BRUSSELS, Nov 10 (Reuters) - European Union finance ministers agreed on Tuesday on a radical increase in minimum excise tax on cigarettes, a move to protect public health that will hit tobacco companies, diplomats said.

Under the deal, starting in 2014, the minimum tax would be raised to 90 euros ($134.8) per 1,000 cigarettes, and no lower than 60 percent of their sales price, from the current 64 euros per 1,000 cigarettes and no lower than 57 percent of the sales price.

Reporting by Marcin Grajewski; editing by David Brunnstrom

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