Saudi Arabia ranks fourth in the world for tobacco imports and consumption. More than 15 billion cigarettes, worth $168m, are smoked by Saudis each year, according to figures released by the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Health Ministers Council, Arab News reported. Commerce Minister Tawfik Al-Rabiah refuted rumors via Twitter that there would be a hike in tobacco prices in the Kingdom. The Kingdom will, however, increase the specifications of tobacco products to minimize its harmful effects on smokers, the minister said on Saturday. The Kingdom joined the anti-tobacco agreement in May 2005. The minister stressed that decisions on price increases are taken by the GCC Finance Ministers Council. “The Kingdom has not given any signal for the increase in the price of tobacco products,” the minister added.
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