Does Saudi Arabia Want its People to Smoke?

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KSA – Government Slammed for Not Raising Tax on Cigarettes

“The issue of price is the responsibility of the Finance Ministry, and it always comes up with the excuse that raising the price will encourage smuggling…”

In much of the West and South America the price of a packet of cigarettes can be as high as SR 40, but in Saudi it is SR 5, or $1.33, €1.02

Link to the article:
http://www.arabnews.com/news/453621

What’s a country to do whose leadership is petrified by change and youth?

“Pacify the populace” comes to mind.

Is smoking the new “Let them eat cake?”

Just a few years ago, while touring a medical rehabilitation spa in an ex-Yugoslavia country I noticed cigarettes for sale in the spa’s gift shop. The price was approximately €2.50 per pack.

At that time I thought the subsidized cigarettes reminded me of Yugoslavia’s socialist-communist efforts to pacify the populace.

Marshal Tito, the authoritarian, benevolent dictator is gone. Yugoslavia is gone. Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia keeps its cigarette prices low while binging on an orgy of building hospitals.

Good luck with that……………..HK

PS: The estimated number of smokers in the Kingdom is expected to grow from 6 million today to 10 million by 2020, or 7 years from now.

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On July 18, 2013
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