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Health and Economic Impact of Smoking
Health and Economic Impact of Smoking

Health and Economic Impact of Smoking

It is estimated that annually about 50,000 people die directly due to smoking-related diseases; however taking complications caused by second-hand smoke into account, the figure can be much more

Health and Economic Impact of Smoking

Due to the increase in local production of cigarettes in the past few years, the rate of cigarette smuggling has dropped significantly.
“In 2014, an estimated 12.5 billion sticks of cigarettes were smuggled into the country. The figure dropped to 6 billion in 2016,” said Amir-Mohammad Parhamfar, director general of economic affairs at the Headquarters to Combat Smuggling of Goods and Foreign Exchange, IRNA reported.  
Iranians annually smoke 55 billion cigarettes worth 100 trillion rials ($2.6 billion), he said, adding that “The people and government spend around three times the cost of smoking to treat smoking-related diseases ($7.8 billion).”
Cigarette smoking plays a debilitating role in the development of cardiovascular health problems as well as rheumatism, arthritis, and inflammatory diseases.
“It is estimated that annually about 50,000 people die directly due to smoking-related diseases; however taking complications caused by second-hand smoke into account, the figure can be much more,” he noted.
Minus effective tobacco control and planning, within the next four decades Iran, Egypt and Pakistan will have the highest percentage of smokers in the world, he warned. According to official figures, 11% of Iranians are regular smokers.
Parhamfar says  tobacco products are among the main goods monitored by the Headquarters to Combat Smuggling of Goods and Foreign Exchange. “Cigarettes are among the main goods smuggled into the country and inflict huge economic cost on the society. They also have a negative effect on the local production of tobacco products and government revenues,” he stressed.
Based on the headquarters’ plan to combat smuggling of tobacco, which was approved in October 2015, comprehensive programs should be implemented by relevant departments to prevent cigarette smuggling.

  Three Modes
Ali Asghar Ramzi, head of the Center for Tobacco Planning and Supervision, a division of the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade says, “In line with the relevant laws and regulations, supply of tobacco-related goods is through three kinds of permits on the national, provincial and retail scales.”
Sale of cigarettes and tobacco products without a permit is considered contraband and is dealt as per law, he said.
Sale outside the licensed network is also subject to Article 18 of the Law of Combating Smuggling of Goods and Currency and subject to cash fines of up to six times the value of the confiscated cigarettes as well as a six-month closure of the business.
As a result of the tighter rules for combating smuggling of tobacco and increase of inspections of guilds and distributors of tobacco, which is to be implemented soon, eligible retailers can acquire selling permits in the shortest possible time.
Licensed guilds, including supermarkets, grocery stores and retail sellers can refer to the relevant union or the online website to obtain a license for selling tobacco in small volumes so that their goods are not seized and their businesses remain open.
Those with a license are only allowed to sell tobacco goods to those with a provincial license and should not sell to those without provincial permits; if they do so, it would be considered a violation, leading to the termination of their license. Such cases were witnessed last year (ended March 20) and the licenses of the offending parties were revoked.
Those with a provincial license are allowed to sell to retailers who have a permit for selling tobacco in small volumes. So far, more than 30,000 guilds have acquired the permits. If holders of provincial permits sell cigarettes and tobacco to guilds without a retail license, their own permits will be suspended.

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