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Smokers to pay more for lighting up as Bangladesh bumps up prices

  Staff Correspondent,

The government plans to ratchet up cigarette prices in order to reduce the use of tobacco products and increase revenue.

The minimum price of 10 sticks of low-tier cigarettes will be fixed at Tk 40, with a supplementary duty of 57 percent.

The minimum price for 10 sticks of mid-tier cigarettes will be set at Tk 65, high-tier cigarettes at 111, and premium tier cigarettes at Tk 142, with a supplementary duty of 65 percent for the tiers.

The price hikes were announced by Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal as part of the budget proposed for fiscal year 2022-23.

The existing prices of bidi will remain unchanged.

Currently, the minimum price of 25-stick handmade bidi is Tk 18, Tk 9 for 12-stick bidi and Tk 6 for 8-stick bidi, with a supplementary duty of 30 percent for all three.

The price of filter-tipped bidi is Tk 19 for 20 sticks and Tk 10 for 10 sticks, with a supplementary duty of 40 percent for both.

The prices of Jarda, Tk 40 for 10 gm, and Gul, Tk 20 for 10 gm, will also remain the same, with a supplementary duty of 55 percent for both.

About 35.3 percent of all adults in Bangladesh use tobacco. The use of tobacco causes around 161,000 deaths in Bangladesh a year, according to official estimates.

It has been identified as one of the four major factors contributing to deaths and disabilities in Bangladesh, according to Global Burden of Diseases 2019. The financial loss incurred per year due to tobacco use exceeds Tk 305.6 billion.