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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Gulf countries reportedly considering new tax on cigarettes & soda

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GCC health ministers meeting in Saudi Arabia earlier this week have apparently been discussing a plan to raise the price of cigarettes and select sodas by 50 percent.

Emirati newspaper Emarat Al Youm reported the story on Tuesday, saying no specific date for implementation has been given, but that the proposal being considered would levy a 50 percent tax on both kinds of items due to their negative health effects. 

A study discussed in the meeting found Gulf soft drink prices are the lowest in the world.  The report also said GCC residents were among the world’s biggest consumers of both soft drinks and tobacco products, which is linked to their low price.

Qatar has been taking a number of steps to curb rampant obesity and diabetes rates in the country. A recent report also found more than 30 percent of the population smoke.

What do you think? Soft drinks for 1.5 QAR doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Credit: Photo by Anirvan Chatterjee

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