Prices for tobacco and nicotine products in Switzerland

Many products for the consumption of tobacco and nicotine are available on the Swiss market. Nevertheless, conventional cigarettes are not losing their appeal and are still the product with the largest market share. Comparisons among product classes are difficult but necessary, as prices can have a significant impact on consumption. Cigarettes are generally already very cheap in Switzerland, especially by international comparison. They are even cheaper compared to certain new products, such as those with heated tobacco. Other new products, such as electronic cigarettes, on the other hand, are much cheaper for the same nicotine consumption. The various products are taxed very differently, making accurate insights difficult to get. Tobacco heating systems such as IQOS are taxed at a low rate (only 12%), while tobacco-free nicotine products have not been taxed at all so far (e-cigarettes and tobacco-free snus).

Price comparison between a packet of cigarettes and other products

In the following table, we have listed the costs of other products for comparison, based on a pack of conventional cigarettes of a common, average-priced brand from a supermarket, i.e. Bay cigarettes from Coop, in each case based on the nicotine equivalent of a 20-pack of cigarettes.

Products Quantity Price (per equivalent of 20 cigarettes)
Traditional cigarettes 1 pack of 20 Bay brand cigarettes from Coop CHF 6.95
Loose tobacco in pouches ("Roll-Your-Own") 20 self-rolled cigarettes CHF 2.00
Snus (with or without tobacco) 1 tin of tobacco-free snus "Velo Easy Mint Mini" (18 pouches) from k kiosk CHF 6.94
Cigarillos 20 pieces "Al Capone Pockets Filter Sweet Cognac" from Coop à CHF 0.48 CHF 9.60
HTP / IQOS or ILUMA One pack Heets or Terea of 20 tobacco sticks each[i] CHF 8.00
ENDS / tank systems (Mods) Approx. 3 ml to 6 ml e-fluid CHF 1.60–3.20 (with quite large fluctuations)
ENDS / Pods 1 Pod of the Nude brand from Red Kiwi CHF 4.75
ENDS / Bars Geek Bar Lite corresponding to 20 cigarettes CHF 5.27

Price comparison between a packet of cigarettes and other products (AT Schweiz)

These products are taxed in very different ways. ENDS are currently not taxed at all, whereas conventional cigarettes are taxed at the highest rate, even though overall taxation in Switzerland is very low. The industry can afford to vary the prices of different products at will in order to maximise profit margins. HTP systems today yield much higher profits than cigarettes with their already enormous profit margins. And with ENDS, profits are astronomical.

HTP systems are positioned as a relatively expensive luxury product, with a price in line with cigarette brands in the top price segment. Cigarillos and cigars are also expensive compared to cigarettes, but these products are smoked in a different way; moreover, cigars are usually consumed alongside other products. Conventional cigarettes and snus are positioned within the same price range for the same consumption (often around CHF 8.-, but sometimes much cheaper). ENDS are generally cheaper than cigarettes, but consumption patterns are very different, and while a cigarette that is smoked to the end is thrown away, an ENDS can often be further hyperventilated with nicotine. Finally, it should be mentioned again that roll-your-own tobacco is the cheapest way to smoke.


Conventional cigarettes are still the most popular tobacco product. In 2020, 9.3 billion cigarettes were sold in Switzerland, an increase of 4% compared to 2019 consumption. [i] That is more than 465 million packs of 20 cigarettes. Determining the exact cost of a packet of cigarettes is quite difficult. Prices generally range from CHF 3.50 (for certain special promotions) to CHF 9.50 (upper price segment or premium brands). We often hear about a so-called "reference" price of CHF 8.80 (in 2020) used by the Federal Customs Administration, which corresponds to the indicative price of one of the best-selling brands. However, this is by no means an average price. The k kiosk website had an average price of CHF 7.41 for the stamps available there (when purchased in boxes of 30 or 40 packs). However cheaper cigarettes can easily be found, e.g. the Bay brand, developed by Coop for young people, at a price of CHF 6.95, or – also at Coop – the entry-level brand "5.50", whose price is already obvious from the name. In the same supermarket chain, there are constant special promotions with a 50% discount on certain brands, so that a pack can easily be purchased for as little as CHF 3.50.

Loose tobacco pouches

Consumers who want to spend even less buy loose tobacco in pouches or tins and roll their own cigarettes (this is known as "Roll-Your-Own", RYO). One roll-your-own cigarette requires about 0.5 g of tobacco. A 120-gram tin of American Blend Fine Cut Tobacco from Coop costs CHF 17.95 and lasts for up to 240 cigarettes, which corresponds to a unit price (not including cigarette paper and any filters, which are sold separately) of CHF 0.07 per cigarette. If you also add cigarette paper and filters, the price comes to around CHF 0.10. Compared to rolling your own cigarettes, cigarettes from a pack of 20 cost CHF 8.-, i.e. a unit price of CHF 0.40, four times as much. Compared to other products, this is the cheapest way to smoke and therefore most common among people with modest incomes and most popular among young people.


Snus cans cost between CHF 8.- and CHF 10.-. A can usually contains 24 pouches, resulting in a unit price of CHF 0.33-0.41 per pouch. At k kiosk, a tin of "Siberia -80°C Red White Dry 13 mg", a brand that has a very high nicotine content of 43 mg/g, is offered for CHF 8.90 per tin (CHF 6.94 per tin when buying 10 tins).

Recently, nicotine-free snus have also appeared on the market. [i] These small pouches are sold with different flavourings and are very popular among young people. On the Swiss market, we find brands such as Zyn (for which a very aggressive advertising campaign targeting young people is ongoing), then a BAT product marketed under three different names: Epok, Lyft, or more recently – at Coop or on special websites such as Velo – Nordic Spirit (Coop), Xrange, etc.Several hundred tobacco and nicotine products are currently on the Swiss market. The content of nicotine and toxic substances varies considerably among the different brands. In the case of Zyn, the nicotine content can be up to 6 mg per pouch. Prices vary, but cans can be purchased for less than CHF 5.-. In a Swiss online shop that offers more than 120 different snus, you can buy a tin of "Nordic Spirit Smooth Mint Slim All White" (the name alone says it all) for CHF 8.58; if you buy 10, 40 or 100 tins at the same time, as is usually the case with online purchases, the prices drop drastically. Thus, for 100 cans, the unit price is CHF 4.81. On the Coop website, a single box of snus is offered at a price between CHF 8.- and CHF 10.-. On the k kiosk website, a tin of Velo Easy Mint Mini (18 pouches) is sold for CHF 8.-, and with 10 tins you get the tin for the unit price of only CHF 6.24.

Cigarillos and cigars

A relatively widely available product is the cigarillo, which costs slightly more than a cigarette. In general, a cigarillo costs between CHF 0.48 and CHF 0.62, depending on the brand. When buying 10 boxes of 18 "Al Capone Pockets Filter Sweet Cognac" at Coop, the unit price is CHF 0.48. Unlike cigarettes, there is no minimum number of pieces per pack for cigarillos, so that packs of only five or 10 are also available on the market. Small packs are automatically cheaper, which encourages consumption by people on low incomes.

For cigars, on the other hand, the price range is extremely broad, with entry-level products also available at prices of around CHF 8.50 per piece. Further up the scale, the cigar then becomes a luxury product, with prices that can easily exceed CHF 100.- for a single cigar.

Products with heated tobacco (Heated Tobacco Products, HTP)

Tobacco heaters are loaded with small cigarettes made of tobacco (tobacco sticks), which are heated to temperatures close to 350 °C and evaporated in the process. Contrary to the tobacco industry's claims, these products are no less harmful to health than conventional tobacco products. The industry boasts of their supposed technological innovation, but in fact they are simply devices consisting of a plastic casing, a rechargeable battery, a heating blade and tobacco sticks, the latter being evaporated by heating to 350 °C to form a tobacco aerosol. The real innovation in these products is the electronics, which enables Philip Morris International (PMI) to directly and continuously collect data on users' tobacco consumption via Bluetooth.[i] The market-leading product in Switzerland is the IQOS from PMI. To smoke with the IQOS, both the IQOS device and the mini-cigarettes, which PMI has christened "Heets", must be purchased. IQOS devices can be found in shops for CHF 99.00 each (IQOS 3 Duo Kit, as of 04.10.2021), but more luxurious and expensive models are also available, for example a model for use at home (Collector's Home Edition at CHF 199.00) or a model for use in the car (Collector's Car Edition at CHF 128.-). A pack of Heets usually costs CHF 8.00 and contains 20 mini-cigarettes; one Heet therefore costs CHF 0.40. With ILUMA, the new version of the IQOS, which was launched on the Swiss market on 2 November 2021 and about whose functioning or new health risks we know practically nothing, the cigarettes contain a core in the form of a thin, sharp metal blade that is heated by induction. These new "Terea" cigarettes, which are only compatible with ILUMA devices, are priced identically to the Heets.


Es gibt eine Vielzahl von Tabak- und Nikotinprodukten, die sich im Preis erheblich unterscheiden. Auf diesem Foto verstecken sich 20 Produkte zwischen den Schulartikeln (Foto: AT Schweiz)

Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, ENDS

ENDS are commonly referred to as electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes. The diversity makes it difficult to determine the exact cost of these products. Since their introduction around 2008 – 2009, five "generations" can be roughly distinguished, with clear boundaries between subsequent generations sometimes difficult to draw, and with rapid evolution in these products.[i] Several hundred brands and thousands of products are on the market, and the trend is towards a constant expansion and diversification of the product range.[ii] Basically, all ENDS produce an aerosol[iii] by heating a liquid containing propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, flavourings, and nicotine salts (the water content of these liquids is at most 5%).For the purposes of this analysis, we broadly divide these products into the three main groups currently most widely represented on the market:

Tank systems (Mods)

These are large devices consisting of a powerful rechargeable battery, a heating element (or atomiser), and a tank. With this type of device, the tank can be filled with different liquids. The market for such liquids is very large; one Swiss online shop alone currently stocks more than 2,300 liquids. Consumers can even put together their desired blends and add more nicotine to get stronger dosages. One can play a bit of a chemist with these devices, but one can also change their performance, as well as several other parameters, at will. Often, the seller makes the nicotine-containing preparations from large bottles kept in stock. Depending on the model, a tank device quickly costs between CHF 50.- and CHF 90.-. Then there are the liquids, the wide diversity of which makes price analysis very difficult. For example, we found bottles of 60 ml for CHF 19.95 and others of 100 ml for CHF 32.90. There are also bottles with nicotine that can be mixed with the other liquids. These are commonly called "boosters" and are available from CHF 1.50 per vial of 10 ml (20 mg/ml). The daily cost of consuming this type of product – in terms of the nicotine equivalent of a packet of cigarettes and without taking into account the cost of purchasing the device – is much lower; probably about a quarter of the price of cigarettes. However, this also depends on how these products are consumed. It should be noted that a conventional cigarette that is smoked to the end is thrown away, whereas in the case of mods, consumption can be continuous until the tank is empty.

Estimating the cost of average consumption with this type of device is very difficult. You have to buy the flavoured liquid (available in thousands of flavours and in very different price ranges). As an example, let's take a bottle of "Dr. Freez – Grenade Myrtille 50 ml Shortfill", which is offered on a Swiss website for CHF 24.90. The nicotine booster has to be added to this, which again is a variable ingredient; here we assume a price of CHF 1.50. If we assume a consumption of 3 ml per day (the consumption corresponding to a pack of conventional cigarettes can be estimated at 3 ml to 6 ml), the cost is CHF 1.60 per day. These costs do not take into account the actual device, batteries, etc., and it should be stressed again that the prices of liquids and boosters vary greatly. In addition, consumption practice influences the price, and individual "steamers" and "vaporisers" may consume quite different amounts of nicotine.


With the pod systems, a new ENDS type entered the Swiss market around 2018 – 2019.[i] These are devices that are operated with capsules (pods) that contain the liquid. We are dealing with a "captive marketing" model, where the actual device is sold at a low price, but only capsules of the same brand can be used, following the well-known example of a famous capsule coffee brand. Initially, the content of the capsules could not be changed, but there are now models where this is possible. The pioneer brand of this type of e-cigarette is Juul, which was launched in Switzerland in December 2018 with a very aggressive campaign. But Juul was a commercial failure and was therefore completely withdrawn from the market in Switzerland and many other European countries in December 2020.

In the meantime, numerous other pods models are available in Switzerland, such as Logic (at k kiosk) or Vuse (distributed by large retail chains such as k kiosk or Coop). A Vuse device (ePen 3) sells for CHF 7.50. But more elegant models are also available at k kiosk: the Vuse ePen Device Kit Black sells for CHF 14.90 or the Vuse Epod Device Kit Black for CHF 19.90. Vuse capsules (pods) are usually priced at CHF 6.90 in 12 mg strength (1 pack of 2 pods) or CHF 9.90 in 18 mg strength (also 2 pods in one pack). Coop also sells the Nude brand from Red Kiwi. At Coop, one unit of Nude costs CHF 39.-, and the pods are available in a box of four for CHF 18.90, i.e. CHF 4.75 per pod.


Puff Bars (Foto: AT Schweiz)


The bars are considered fifth-"generation" e-cigarettes and came onto the market at the beginning of 2020. They are becoming increasingly popular, especially among young people. These are compact devices (consisting of a rechargeable battery, a permanently installed tank pre-filled with a flavoured nicotine liquid and the heating system) whose metal or plastic housing cannot be opened or tampered with. Once the contents are used up, the entire device can be thrown away. It is therefore a disposable product that should be banned for environmental protection and waste prevention reasons alone. The information on the exact contents of these devices is mostly very poor.

These new products are available in Switzerland mainly online – quite uncomplicated and without an effective age-control system, as we have demonstrated several times in recent months. The problem with these products is that they can be consumed secretly ("stealth consumption"), which is why they are becoming increasingly popular with young people.

One well-known brand is the ULTD Puff Bar, which is available in many flavours. A 20-mg Puff Bar costs CHF 8.-. The Geek Bar is another brand of stronger-dose bars that is available in different formats: 1) as the Geek Bar Lite, which lasts for 400 puffs (equivalent to 30 cigarettes, according to the manufacturer) and is offered on the internet at prices ranging from CHF 7.90 to CHF 11.90; 2) as the Geek Bar Standard for up to 575 puffs (equivalent to 40 cigarettes) at CHF 11.90; and 3) as the Geek Bar Pro, which lasts for up to 1,500 puffs and is sold for CHF 12.90. New products of this kind come on to the market almost daily. For example, the Happy Puff Drinks (with cocktail flavours) appeared in Swiss online shops on 20 October 2021 at the price of CHF 35.-, the nicotine equivalent of more than 400 cigarettes.


The figures, prices, and products mentioned in this article are based on a selection made on Swiss online shops in October 2021 and do not claim to be complete. So far, we have recorded more than 215 websites directly based in Switzerland that sell tobacco and/or nicotine products online.

Stand January 2022

[i] Auf der Schweizer Website von IQOS sind Stangen mit 10 Packungen für CHF 69.- erhältlich, also bereits mit einem Rabatt. Beim Online-Kauf auf der Website ermöglicht ein Punktesystem weitere Rabatte, sodass sich der Preis pro Stange bis auf CHF 55.00 reduzieren kann.[i]

[ii] AT Schweiz, Verkauf von Zigaretten 2020 in der Schweiz explodiert, 16.04.2021,


[iv] Lasseter, Tom (2018): Philip Morris device knows a lot about your smoking habit. In Reuters, 5/15/2018. Online verfügbar unter


[vi] Ozga, Jenny E.; Felicione, Nicholas J.; Douglas, Ashley; Childers, Margaret; Blank, Melissa D. (2021): Electronic Cigarette Terminology: Where Does One Generation End and the Next Begin? In Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntab164.

[vii] Das durch ENDS erzeugte Aerosol ist kein blosser Dampf, wie die häufig verwendete Bezeichnung vermuten lässt. Mit der Verwendung der Begriffe «Dampf», «Dampfen» und «Vaporette» versuchen die Hersteller, diese Produkte gegenüber herkömmlichen Zigaretten und dem negativ konnotierten Begriff «Rauch» abzugrenzen.

[viii] Die ersten Pods stammen aus dem Jahr 2015. Galstyan, Ellen; Galimov, Artur; Sussman, Steve (2019): Commentary: The Emergence of Pod Mods at Vape Shops. In Eval Health Prof 42 (1), pp. 118–124. DOI: 10.1177/0163278718812976.

[ix] Ruggia, Luciano (2021): «Neue» Tabakprodukte: Entwicklungen und Folgen. In Schweiz Ärztezeitung 2021;102(34):1076-1078. DOI: