Saudi tobacco imports up 57pc in 2011
Riyadh, April 8, 2012
Saudi Arabia imported 57,838 tonnes of tobacco in 2011 valued at SR3.3 billion ($880 million), marking a rise of 57 per cent over the figure for 2009, which reached SR2.104 billion, said a report.
The import volume was considered to be very large because the taxes on imports of tobacco were still low, said Abdullah Al-Salman, member of the welfare committee to combat smoking, according to the report by Arab News, which quoted business daily Al-Eqtisadiah.
“These taxes should be increased because the proceeds will be used to treat diseases caused by smoking,” he said.
Al-Salman said the price of cigarettes was not increased to the desired level.
He expressed worries that cigarettes were still being sold to the underage and said a bad on sales of cigarettes to the children should be strictly applied, the report said.
According to figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO), here were six million smokers in Saudi Arabia including 1.5 million women.
Saudi Arabia is considered the fourth largest importer of tobacco with the average consumption per individual put at 2130 cigarettes, the report said.