Official: Iranians smoke $1.45 billion worth of cigarettes annually
Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug.18 / Trend F.Karimov /
Iranians smoke 36 trillion rials (some $1.45 billion based on the Tehran Forex Center's U.S. dollar official exchange rate of 24,790 rials) worth of cigarettes annually, ISNA quoted head of the center for supervision over consumption of tobacco products Shamseddin Nikmanesh as saying.
He said that smuggling of cigarettes into the country has been on the rise in recent years.
Some 50-60 billion cigarettes are smoked in Iran per year, of which 40 billion are produced domestically, 9 billions are imported legally, and the rest are smuggled, he explained.
Meanwhile, Iranian Tobacco Company managing director Masoum Najafian said in May that over 30 percent of cigarettes which are consumed in Iran have been smuggled.
Some 61 billion cigarettes are smoked in Iran annually, he added.
The company increased its output by 110 percent in the second Iranian calendar month of Ordibehesht (April 20-May 21) compared to the same month last year, he noted.
The company plans to set up outlets in different countries in the future, he added.
Some 46 billion cigarettes are projected to be produced in the country by the end of the current year, which began on March 21.
Last year, nearly 63.8 billion cigarettes were smoked in Iran.
On October 5, MP Alireza Monadi-Sepidan told the Fars News Agency that imports should be regulated and illegal imports of up to $30 billion, which have dented the domestic production, should be curbed.
According to General Inspection Organization's director Mostafa Pourmohammadi, the smuggled goods into the country amounted to around $20 billion in the Iranian year which ended in March 2011. The figure declined by $6 billion in the year to March 2012.