Cigarette smokers currently have to spend more for their tobacco products. This comes after a boost of cigarette prices by about 10.5 %. The approach is linked to the government’s ideas to help to make the Kingdom free of all sorts of tobacco addiction.
Dealers and retailers have portrayed their big surprise over the unexpected increase in cigarette prices without earlier notice. One of them stated that shortly after the news on the price increase was announced, cigarette users went to numerous shops to purchase cigarettes and stock them. The price of a new package of cigarettes is raised to SR10 from SR9 before.
Ahmed Albualli, representative of the supervisory board at the Anti-Smoking Society (Naqaa), explained in a statement to local media that increasing the prices of cigarettes is something appealing. He stated the price increases will mainly impact the working class and hoped that this will make them quit the habit.
He claimed that increasing the prices of tobacco products is not the society’s objective, including: “Our objective is to pass laws and restrictions that prohibit on selling cigarettes at food stores and groceries. Cigarettes should be offered in individual outlets situated on the terminals of cities, in remote places.”
He called on the related bodies to sign up for efforts and work against tobacco use, and stimulate the anti-smoking law in universities, and prohibit selling cigarettes to children less than 18 years of age.
He lamented the point that some stores and groceries sell cigarettes in retail. “The latest studies demonstrated that 27 % of the youth who light up in high school started smoking in the elementary study level.
He said: “The country uses 99 tons of tobacco yearly, investing more than SR 33 billion. Around 45 % of the males over 15 years of age are smokers, in opposition to 3 % of the females.”
At the same time, activists on social media site Twitter introduced hash tag #20rials the cigarette, with different reactions, some challenging a ban on cigarette sales and others being against the price increase saying that smoking is totally personal.