TEHRAN (Iran News) – ‘90% of cigarettes consumed in Iran are produced domestically’. Head of Iran Headquarters for Combating the Smuggling of Commodities and Foreign Currency has said 90 percent of the cigarettes consumed in the country are produced domestically, IRIB reported.
“Smuggled cigarettes account for only about 10 percent of the market, and with the activities of the headquarters in recent years, according to last year’s statistics, 90 percent of the country’s cigarettes are now produced domestically,” Ali Moayedi Khorramabadi said in a press conference on Tuesday.
According to the official data, Iran has 39 tobacco and 23 cigarette production companies.
The number of cigarette manufacturers in Iran increased from seven companies with an annual output of 29 billion cigarettes in the year ending March 2015 to 23 companies with an annual output of 55 billion in the year ending March 2020.
According to a report by the Persian economic daily Donya-e-Eqtesad, citing statistics by Industry, Mining and Trade Ministry, two leading international manufacturers of cigarettes, namely British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International accounted for more than 60 percent of the total cigarette production in Iran in the Iranian calendar year 1398 (March 2019-20).
Iran has currently banned the imports of cigarettes into the country.
The decision to halt imports doesn’t mean that no foreign cigarettes entered Iran; the Industries Ministry estimates that 10.03 billion cigarettes were smuggled into the country in the Iranian calendar year 1398, as 65 billion cigarettes were smoked in the country during the period, which registered a year-on-year decline of 39.2 percent.
The World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. The day is further intended to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to more than 8 million deaths each year worldwide, including 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
Referring to the 40 percent increase in hookah consumption over the last eight years in the country, he stated that tobacco brings the country a loss of 1.4 quadrillion rials (nearly $33.3 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials) annually, taking health costs into consideration.
Stating that tobacco consumption is high among Iranian women, he said that “one of the reasons for the increase in the tendency of women, especially young people, to desire to use hookah is the presence of aromatic tobacco, which is very dangerous and harmful.”