Cigarettes have again disappeared from state-owned stores of Turkmenistan in April. Shop assistants report that the verbal instruction was issued in connection with the Month of Health held in the country, but starting from May cigarettes are scheduled to be supplied to retail outlets again.
Despite the ban, cigarettes are available virtually in all privately-owned stores. However, the price for tobacco products is three times as much. If a pack of cigarettes cost about 20 manats in state-run stores, privately-owned shops sell tobacco at 50 to 60 manats per pack despite the fact that a month ago it was sold at about 40 manats.
According to the sources of Chronicles of Turkmenistan, owners of private retail outlets buy boxes of cigarettes in sate-run stores and then sell them with a markup of 100 to 200%.
According to observations, prohibitive measures virtually do not have any effect on smokers and despite a high price, they have no intention to give up smoking.
Out of my 25 acquaintances none has given up smoking. All of them still smoke. They spend what they earn on cigarettes, complain about the appalling quality of cigarettes and yet, fail to quit this habit, � one of the interlocutors of Chronicles of Turkmenistan mentioned.
Irregular cigarette supply was recorded in Turkmenistan in early 2016 when the state monopoly on import and sale of tobacco products was legally introduced.
On 14 April President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov approved the anti-smoking campaign, pursuant to which Turkmenistan is supposed to eradicate smoking by 2025.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan