Iran - cigarette smuggling hurting legal tobacco sales..

July 7, 2010 - The Iranian Tobacco Company announced that it plans to take serious measure against cigarette smuggling in the metropolis of Tehran. Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance with the cooperation of the Tehran Tobacco Office will inspect all stores, shops, and supermarkets to find smuggled cigarettes. In case of finding such cigarettes, they will be confiscated, the company announced. Experts believe that smuggled cigarettes have bad effect on social health of people.

About six and a half billion cigarettes are smuggled into Iran per year..

Cigarette smuggling leads to severe disruption in official cigarette distribution network and bankruptcy of industry sectors. An official cigarette importer told ILNA (Iranian Labour News Agency) that country’s tobacco industry has faced big challenges during past 2 years. Iran Tobacco Company, agricultural relevant rings including production, distribution network facing chaos in their structures.

He said considering President Ahmadinejad speech in supporting Iranian industries and preventing the commodity trafficking unfortunately increase of cigarette smuggling lead to irrecoverable loss for country’s economy and investors in private sector of industry. The analyst noted regarding decrease of Iran Tobacco Company production especially in joint tobacco production companies the official import of cigarette dropped to 50 percent, lack of management resulted in substitution of non standard and unsanitary cigarettes.

References: Serious campaign to start against cigarette smuggling in Tehran,, 7/7/2010; Cigarette smuggling leads to bankruptcy of tobacco industry, ILNA, 7/8/2010.

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