• May 19, 2024

Licit sales in free-fall

 Licit sales in free-fall

An attempt to cut smoking in Iran by raising cigarette taxes seems instead to have encouraged a significant number of smokers to buy illicit products, according to an AzerNews story.
AzerNews reported that the number of cigarettes imported into Iran during the first half of the current fiscal year (March 21-September 22) had dropped to zero, from 1.5 billion during same period of the previous year.
At the same time, the head of the Tobacco Products Manufacturers Exporters and Importers Association Mohammad Reza Tajdar said the Association’s members had experienced a 16 percent cut in production and sale of tobacco products.
By the end of this year, the cut would have reached 30 percent, he said.
Iran’s domestic cigarette production during the first half of the current year was 19.6 billion cigarettes, while production during the same period of last year had been 23.4 billion.
The policy of raising cigarette prices to cut consumption had pushed the country’s cigarette market toward low quality smuggled products.
If this continued, the producing factories would face serious problems in paying salaries.
About 15,000 people are employed in the country’s tobacco industry.