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Cigarettes, energy drinks get costlier in Qatar

While trying to wean people off harmful and unhealthy substances, Qatar has expanded the costs of tobacco items, cigarettes, caffeinated drinks and carbonated beverages.

With impact from January 1, the costs of cigarettes and caffeinated drinks were doubled while sugary beverages got dearer by 50 % following presentation of “sin” tax.

 

The “sin” tax was introduced just weeks after Qatar declared in its annual budget that it would introduce a levy on “health-damaging goods” such as tobacco products, energy drinks and carbonated beverages. Selective Tax Law includes a 100 % tax on tobacco and its products and energy drinks, and a 50 percent tax on sugary drinks.

“This decision will help people to get rid of bad and unhealthy habits such as smoking.

Now, the rise in prices will make it harder for those who are just starting to smoke,” expat said, reported Qatar Tribune. 

“Those who can’t quit smoking will now start to look for other stuff,which may eventually lead them to quit this habit.” 

Amer Darraoui, another resident, said, “I always wanted to quit smoking, but I needed a good start. Well, after hearing the news about this decision I have quit smoking.”

“Going to the gym is a healthy habit but what is unhealthy was the heavy consumption of energy drinks, which adversely affect the people’s health in the long run. I used to see young people heavily consuming energy drinks especially while smoking. Now that their prices have gone up, I think the consumption will reduce significantly,” another sportsman said.

Many parents welcome the decision to impose tax on energy drinks.

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