Cigarette prices to rise in Kazakhstan-to 32 cents
ALMATY, April 6 (Reuters) - Cigarette smokers in Kazakhstan will soon have to dig a little deeper when buying a packet after the government introduced a minimum price of 40 tenge ($0.32) per packet.
No reason was given for the new law, published in state media on Friday. The government has restricted cigarette advertising but smoking is widespread, tolerated in most restaurants and bars and there is relatively little discussion about its health implications.
The cheapest cigarettes for sale before the new rule comes into force cost about 35 tenge for a standard pack of 20.
The vast Central Asian state grows tobacco and global cigarette firms like Philip Morris (MO.N), Gallaher GLH.L and Japan Tobacco Inc (2914.T) have set up factories to produce the product for local consumption and export.
The presence of producers and low taxes mean that Kazakhs, earning average monthly salaries of $370, pay less for cigarettes than their poorer ex-Soviet neighbours. ($=123.46 tenge)
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