UAE - Quadruple Cigarette Price - Prevent Kids from Smoking..


January 19, 2009 - In an effort to keep youth away from smoking, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Tobacco Control Team will propose prohibitive pricing for cigarettes. The price of cigarettes could more than quadruple under a proposal.
Dr Wedad Al Maidoor, the head of the Ministry of Health's Tobacco Control Team, said she has prepared a plan to raise the price of cigarettes between $5.4 and $13.6 a packet. A packet of 20 cigarettes currently costs about $1.9 in the UAE, compared with £6 in the UK and $7 in the US. Residents of the UAE spend about $109 million a year on tobacco, she said.

A National Tobacco Control Law, drafted by the Ministry of Health last year, included a price increase and a federal ban on smoking in public places, but it has not taken effect. Ms Al Maidoor said she would ask the ministry of economy directly to consider the price increase separately from the tobacco-control law. Raising the price of cigarettes would be one of the biggest deterrents for younger people who start smoking.

According to a WHO survey from 2002, 10 per cent of school children in the UAE aged 13 to 15 are smokers. “If the price of cigarettes is much higher, children will be less likely to start early. A child is not going to spend 30, 40 or 50 dirhams on a packet,” she said. Studies show that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by about 7 percent and overall cigarette consumption by about 4 percent.

Euromonitor: More - Tobacco in the United Arab Emirates

Reference: Up in cigarette prices to keep smokers at bay PTI, Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications, 1/18/2009.

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