Over 70 Percent of Cigarettes Smoked in Iran Are Smuggled
TEHRAN -- Managing Director of Iran Tobacco Company (ITC) Abdol Majid Rahmani-Khalili said here Saturday that about 70 percent of cigarettes smoked in Iran are smuggled into the country.
"This imposes a high cost on the country," he added.
Speaking at the ceremonies marking the occasion of the Government Week, he added that the domestic cigarette industry produces 20 billion cigarettes annually and has 25 percent of the market, IRNA reported.
He also said that ITC under the banner "combating cigarette smuggling" has a plan with major international cigarette producing companies to supply 90 percent of the foreign cigarette brands smoked in Iran.
He said an advantage of the agreement is the commitment that these companies make to officially import cigarettes.
The number of cigarette imports has jumped from 700 million cigarettes in last year (ended March 20), to four billion in the first five month of the current year and expected to top 14 billion by the end of the year.
Smoking makes you prone to serious chest illnesses - but eating plenty of fruit and vegetables is likely to cut the risk, say experts.
Scientists have always wondered why some heavy smokers fall ill as a result of their habit, but others stay in reasonably good health.
It is suspected that genes may play a role, along with diet and other lifestyle factors, reports the BBC News On-Line.
Evidence to support the diet link was published this week in the European respiratory journal.
A study of 300 smokers, who were all over 45 years old and had smoked the equivalent of a pack of 20 cigarettes a day for a decade, found that it appeared to have a significant influence.
The risk of developing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - a progressive and incurable combination of bronchitis and emphysema - dropped by more than half when smokers ate more than 121 grams of fruit and vegetables a day.
The study suggested that it was the combination of fruit and vegetables, rather than the sheer quantity of each, which was important in disease prevention.
Dr. Louise Watson led the study at the University of Southampton.