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EghtesadOnline: More than 32 billion cigarettes were produced domestically during the nine months to December 20, 56% more compared with last year’s corresponding period, the chairman of the Center for Tobacco Planning and Supervision, a division of the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade, said.

“The government plans to stop importing cigarettes as of the new fiscal year (to start March 20, 2017),” added Asghar Ramzi, noting that 3.7 billion cigarettes were imported during the nine-month period, 67% less year-on-year, ISNA reported.

According to the Ministry of Health, Iranians smoke about 55 billion cigarettes a year.

Smuggling is rife in Iran’s tobacco market.

Ramzi estimates that 5.4 billion cigarettes were smuggled into the country during the aforementioned period, noting that the figure shows a 45% decline over last year’s corresponding period, according to Financial Tribune.

Iranian Tobacco Company is the country’s major cigarette producer.

Iran Cigarette Asghar Ramzi