Dubai: The cost of a single pack of cigarettes at one of the largest retailers in the emirate is $6,260, according to a study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy.
The study, titled “The Price of Cigarettes in Dubai: An Overview of the Industry” and published on March 25, estimates that the average daily retail price of a pack of 100 cigarettes in Dubai is $26.46, which is $1.20 more than the average price in the United States.
In a statement provided to Reuters, the study’s author, Dr. Mohamed al-Shahani, said the study showed that while cigarettes have not been the preferred alternative to smoking for many people in the UAE, they are still the “most popular way to consume tobacco products in the country.”
The study’s authors also said that the government is working to reduce the cost of cigarettes.
“We are seeing a significant reduction in tobacco consumption in Dubai as well as the impact of the implementation of the Tobacco Control Strategy (TCS) on tobacco sales in the city,” they said.
Al-Shawani said that while the UAE government has invested heavily in the health sector, the government’s approach to smoking is not working.
“While it is true that the tobacco industry is making a lot of progress in reducing its costs, the real success of the tobacco control strategy in Dubai has been achieved in the areas of health care, prevention and education,” he said.
The government has been cracking down on the sale of tobacco products, but in recent years there has been a rise in the number of young people buying and using the products in Dubai, he said, adding that the increase is due to the government focusing on the tobacco problem instead of dealing with the underlying economic problems.
Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Al-Majid, reporting from Dubai, said that smoking rates in the Gulf Arab country are already the lowest in the world and this is due in part to the country’s strict rules on tobacco use.
“If you smoke in the UK, you can’t smoke in France or Germany, in the US you can only buy tobacco from licensed stores and the smoking is prohibited in restaurants and bars,” he added.
“So what they are doing in Dubai isn’t working, it’s not working well.”