Malaysia 'to hike cigarette prices' to discourage smoking

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — Malaysia will fix a minimum price of 6.00 ringgit (1.70 dollars) for a pack of 20 Cigarettes to discourage smoking, a senior health ministry official said Wednesday.

"The price has already been set and we are just waiting for it to be gazetted by the end of this year," the health minister's press secretary Lim Chau Leng told AFP. "This minimum price will help discourage youngsters from buying cigarattes," he said. Malaysia imposes high taxes on Cigarettes to discourage demand and a packet costs about 9.00 ringgit but cheaper brands are available for 4.50 ringgit. Lim said the minimum price will be implemented at the end of the year after the new ruling under the Control of Tobacco Products (Sale of Tobacco Products) Regulations 2008 was implemented. From January next year, packets of Cigarettes sold in Malaysia will have to display picture warnings to discourage smoking, health minister Liow Tiong Lai said, according to state Bernama news agency. The use of terms that could create misunderstandings on tar content such as "low tar","light", "ultra-light" and "mild" will also be banned, he said.

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