Iran health ministry slams approval of new cigarette, tobacco brands

Financial Tribune – The Health Ministry has slammed the Iranian Tobacco Planning and Supervision Center’s recent approval of new cigarette and tobacco brands.

The center, affiliated to the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade, recently issued permits for 15 new cigarette brands and 30 new tobacco brands, requested by 28 tobacco companies.

Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raeisi said the decision is against the law and even shows contempt for Iran’s commitments to the World Health Organization.

“According to the guidelines of the National Tobacco Control Headquarters drawn up in its ninth meeting in the fiscal 2014-15, adding flavor and taste to tobacco products and registering new brands is banned and amounts to cigarette advertising. Note 3 of Clause 102 of the Fifth Five-Year Development Plan [2011-16] proposed the setting up of 20 tobacco factories to meet domestic demand,” Raeesi was quoted as saying by the Persian-language daily Etemad.

“The Industries Ministry keeps on issuing new permits for the production of tobacco on the pretext of rising consumption and smuggling. Meanwhile, supervisory authorities have failed to address health concerns and the Industries Ministry pursues its development policies for the tobacco industry.”