67 percent of smokers switch to tax-evading cheaper brands

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67 percent of smokers switch to tax-evading cheaper brands
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67 percent of smokers switch to tax-evading cheaper brands

Despite increasing the price, smoking did not decrease, according to the opinion of 89 percent of the people in the survey. Photo: File

Islamabad: Despite the government’s efforts to reduce the smoking trend in the country, it has been revealed that a large number of consumers are switching to cheaper brands sold by tax evasion.

The increase in the price of cigarettes has led to the growth of illegal trade, 89 percent of respondents surveyed by a recent research report said that despite the increase in price, there has been no decrease in the use of cigarettes, 80 percent said. That they switched to cheaper alternative brands, 71 percent said they had recently switched cigarette brands after a price increase.

According to the survey, a surprising 67 percent of people have switched to cheaper brands due to tax evasion, while 33 percent of consumers are using legal brands even though cigarettes are expensive.

A quantitative and qualitative analysis was conducted based on the opinion of 1698 smokers out of 2000 people in a research conducted by non-profit organization “Ameed Sahar” on the tendency of smoking to increase the price of cigarettes, Mardan, Hyderabad, 60 retailers from Multan, Faisalabad, Sahiwal and Gujranwala cities were also polled.

The government’s strategy to keep cigarettes out of reach of consumers by increasing the federal excise duty on legal cigarettes by 154 percent failed, the study found. 83.5 percent of retailers admitted to selling cigarettes without tax stamps.

Commenting on the results of the research, Chief Executive Officer of Umid Sahar, Muzamil Shaikh said that these results are a message for policy makers to change their perspective.

67 percent of smokers switch to tax-evading cheaper brands