Oman has increased its tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products for the first time in 17 years resulting in price rises, according to reports.
Dr Jawad Al Lawati, senior consultant and rapporteur of the National Tobacco Control Committee at the Ministry of Health, told Times of Oman that the country’s tobacco tax had increased by 20 per cent, to 40 per cent.
Prices were last raised in 1999, according to the official.
Figures from the ministry show that 15 per cent of Oman’s male population uses tobacco products and 0.5 per cent of its female population, he said.
The taxes come as the Omani government seeks to raise additional revenues through cuts to subsidies and increased fees for government services after posting a $9.1bn budget deficit in the first half of the year.
GCC governments are also considering a proposal to raise tobacco tariffs across the region.
By Robert Anderson
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