$3b spent on cigarettes daily
Iraq tackles tobacco use, eyes more regulation
BAGHDAD — The Iraqi Ministry of Health reported on Saturday that the country spends approximately 3 billion Iraqi Dinars daily on tobacco products. Wasim Kilan, Deputy Director of the Tobacco Control Program at the Ministry, noted in an interview with Al Iraqiya TV, covered by 964media, that a significant 70% of cigarettes available in the market bypass quality control measures.
Kilan expressed concerns about electronic cigarettes, noting that some may ‘contain narcotic substances’, and called for updated legislation to address these products. While there is ongoing research into the health impacts of electronic cigarettes, it is widely recognized that they generally present fewer health risks compared to traditional cigarettes. This is largely because electronic cigarettes do not involve the burning of tobacco, a process known to produce tar and carbon monoxide—two of the most harmful components in traditional cigarette smoke.
The discussion also touched on the broader impact of smoking within the country. Kilan stated, “More than half of Iraqis are affected by smoking-related issues, with 30 to 40% of the population exposed to second-hand smoke. Current statistics show that around 20% of adults over 18 years old are smokers.”
When broken down by gender, 1.7% of females and 36.1% of males are current tobacco smokers. The number of daily smokers in the country is around 4.3 million.