Correspondents of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” report that prices for cigarettes in Ashgabat stores are going up every week.
Because of high price for cigarettes residents buy them apiece.Ahead of New Year celebrations one cigarette was sold at 16 manats, in early January 17 manats and in the past two to three days the price has increased to 18 manats.
These are the cheapest cigarettes which had been previously sold at 30 to 32 manats per pack in state-run stores.
Those who cannot afford to purchase cigarettes at such prices and are unable to give up a bad habit buy home-made cigarettes. They are produced in rural areas and are sold at 0,70-1 manat apiece.
An expert in tobacco manufacturing technology says that such cigarettes are made of powdered stalks of aubergine, sunflower root and harmel mixed together. In principle, any dry grass can be added to the mixture.
More professional manufacturing of cigarettes under Parliament and Kent brands has been launched. They are sold at 5 manats apiece or 40 manats for a 10 piece pack. The content smells and looks like hay and wild tobacco with cotton wool inserted instead of a filter.
Those who smoke such cigarettes complain about persistent cough and shortness of breath after their use. However, due to a relatively low price, the tobacco is in demand.
Smokers are currently appeasing themselves by rumours that a large batch of illegally imported cigarettes has been detained at Turkmenistan’s customs and the tobacco products will soon be available on the counters of stores at reduced prices. Counterfeit cigarettes have allegedly been confiscated at Tashauz customs, in Dashoguz bordering Iran.
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