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Prevalence of smuggled and foreign cigarette use in Tehran, 2009
  1. Gholamreza Heydari1,
  2. Saeid Fallah Tafti2,
  3. Firouzeh Telischi2,
  4. Luk Joossens3,
  5. Mostafa Hosseini4,
  6. Mohammadreza Masjedi2,
  7. Mostafa Ghafari5
  1. 1Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Center (TPCRC), Masih Daneshvari Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  2. 2National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Masih Daneshvari Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  3. 3Framework Convention Alliance, Masih Daneshvari Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  4. 4Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran Medical University, Tehran, Iran
  5. 5Environmental Health and Occupational Health Center, Masih Daneshvari Hospital, Tehran, Iran
  1. Correspondence to Mohammadreza Masjedi, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Masih Daneshvari Hospital, Tehran, Iran; mrmasjedi{at}nritld.ac.ir

Abstract

Background Iran is one of two main target markets for tobacco smuggling in the WHO's Eastern Mediterranean Region. The Iranian government has a local tobacco monopoly but there is high demand for international brands. Informal reports show about 20% of cigarette consumption is smuggled brands. This pack survey study is the first in Iran to gather validated information on use of smuggled cigarettes.

Methods A randomized cross-sectional household survey in Tehran in 2008–2009 of 1540 smokers aged 16–90 (83% men) was performed, including interviewer checking of cigarette packs.

Results In all, 20.9% of cigarettes and 6.7% of domestic branded cigarettes were smuggled. A total of 60.1% of smokers preferred foreign cigarettes. There was no significant difference between consumption of illegal cigarettes by sex. (Fisher exact test p=0.61) Use of smuggled cigarettes was higher among younger smokers (p=0.01)

Conclusions Use of illegal cigarettes is high. Tobacco control laws outlawing their sale are not being enforced.

  • Cigarette
  • smuggling
  • Iran
  • Nicotine products

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Footnotes

  • Funding This study was supported by the Masih Daneshvari Hospital.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Masih Daneshvari Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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