Saudi Gazette report
DAMMAM/JEDDAH — The price of a packet of cigarette has increased by only SR2, the same hike that the Department of Customs has levied on the import of tobacco, Makkah Arabic daily reported on Monday quoting cigarette importers.
The importers said they increased the price in keeping with the hike in the levy to import tobacco. They said that they were not responsible for the black market where the price of a cigarette packet has gone up by about 100 percent.
Fahd Al-Hajjaj, chief accountant at Mohammed Saeed Fakhri’s company, a main importer of tobacco, said the company only increased the price by the same amount as the new charges levied by the customs which has gone up from SR2 to SR4 a packet.
He warned consumers against falling prey to the geed of some merchants.
Meanwhile, cigarettes, which disappeared from the shelves on Thursday following the introduction of the new price, are back in the market.
An official at another tobacco importing company, who opted not to be identified, said any increase of more than SR2 on the price is not the work of importing companies.
“The packet which was sold at SR12 should now be sold at SR14 only,” he said, asking consumers not to fall prey to avaricious merchants.
Some analysts welcomed the price rise and called for it to be raised by at least 100 percent to reduce the number of smokers, especially young men and women.
Deputy chairman of the economic committee of the Shoura Council Fahd Bin Jumaa called for a steep hike in the prices of tobacco, saying the increase of 100 percent is not enough.