Pakistanis smoke a lot of cigarettes perhaps more than you expected. Tobacco addicts in the country smoke approximately 89 billion cigarettes costing around Rs. 200 billion annually.
We all know that smoking is hazardous to health, but how much? To date, 250 poisonous chemicals and 70 carcinogens have been found in the cigarettes.
Although the consumption is far less compared to other countries of the world, we do have other forms of tobacco usage too prevalent in the country, like Naswar and Hookah.
The data is revealed by the FBR in the Senate committee meeting, which has asked FBR to report the losses national exchequer is having due to the smuggled cigarettes and a change in tax structure.
Two largest cigarette manufacturers in Pakistan, Capstan and Gold leaf, earns Rs. 17 Billion in Profit every year. According to FBR, the third tier of excise duty was introduced to help curb the losses while the real cause of the 30 Billion loss was illicit cigarettes.
There are two types of illicit cigarettes in Pakistan, one that is smuggled from China and Afghanistan while the others are manufactured locally without paying any taxes mostly in the Mardan and Azad Jammu Kashmir region.
Illegal and Smuggled ones have induced Rs. 130 billion loss in Past Five Years while they occupy 35% of the market share which was 40% before the introduction of the 3rd slab of excise duty according to Nielsen, a market research agency.