Iran to introduce new cigarette brands

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 24
By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:

Iranian Tobacco Company will introduce new cigarette brands to the market, the company's Managing Director, Masoum Najafian, said, the IRNA News Agency reported.

"Not producing cigarettes in the country is not a good solution for lowering the consumption rate," he said, adding that it will just lead to the unemployment of 70,000 people.

"The Iranian Tobacco Company plans to export cigarettes," he said, noting that the company will supply its domestic markets as well.

He further said that cigarette smuggling will definitely harm Iran's economy.

The Fars News Agency reported on September4 that smuggled cigarettes are much cheaper than domestic products on Iran's market.

The high price of Iranian-made cigarettes in comparison to the price of smuggled foreign brands has become a tough challenge for the Iranian Tobacco Company.

Iranian dealers are having a hard time selling domestically-made cigarettes in the market.

Delays in issuing holograms for imported cigarettes have also encouraged smugglers to trade an increasing number of the product illegally.

The average price of a pack of smuggled cigarettes is around 80,000 rials ($2.5 based on the rate of USD at the free market), while Iran Tobacco Company's average price stands at 130,000 rials ($4.1) per pack.

However, Iran still eyes towards the export of cigarettes. Najafian said in July that Iran will export a consignment of cigarettes for the first time.

"Some 2.012 billion cigarettes were produced in Iran during the Iranian month of Tir (June 22 - July 22)," the Mehr News Agency quoted Najafian as saying.

"The figure show 26 per cent increase compared to the same period of time in the previous year," he added.

According to Najafian, Iran is currently producing cigarettes using nanotechnology for the first time.

The ISNA News Agency reported in June that Iran imported 1355 tons of cigarettes worth 8.947 million in the first two months of the current Iranian calendar year which started March 21.

The figures show a 47 and 7.63 per cent decrease in terms of value and weight respectively in comparison to the same period of the previous year.

The United Arab Emirates, Turkey and South Korea were the main exporters of cigarettes to Iran. Ankara and Abu Dhabi alone account for 92 per cent of Tehran's total imports.

Najafian said in March that by launching the two new cigarette brands of Marlink and Asia, Iran will start exporting cigarettes to neighbouring countries, , the Mehr News Agency reported.

Domestic companies supply only half of the country's cigarette consumption, Najafian said, noting that Iranians annually pay 20 trillion rials which is $1.63 billion dollars based on the official rate of USD for cigarettes.

According to the official, nearly 63.8 million cigarettes were smoked in Iran last year.

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