According to the 2018 tobacco product statistics published by Turkey’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the production of cigarettes in the last year was 172 billion units, the domestic sales were 118.5 billion units and the exports was 49.5 billion units. According to the previous year, cigarette production has increased by 10 percent and domestic sales by 12 percent.
The 12 percent increase in cigarette consumption in 2018, i.e. 12.3 billion units (616 million packets) more compared to the previous year, was a result of the increased production capacity with investment promotions for tobacco companies, uncontrolled promotional practices, loosening of tobacco control measures, clearing the way for high profit, unregistered cafes serving hookah, and the decrease of cigarette prices in real terms in 2018.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), while the rate of change in the general Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 20.35 percent between January 2018 and January 2019, the CPI change rate in the “alcoholic beverages and tobacco” expenditure group, which was mostly composed of tobacco products, was only 2.63 percent.
The Special Consumption Tax (SCT) rates obtained from cigarettes are determined in line with the monetary and fiscal policy and the purpose of regulating the informal market while there are no effects of reducing consumption or eliminating health inequalities.
According to the data, the use of domestic tobacco in cigarettes produced in Turkey fell to 12.07 percent. With the removal of agricultural supports, the impoundment of domestic tobacco production as a result of the imposition of contracted agriculture under subsistence prices, the increase in production of the informal market in recent years, the market share of American and Virginia blended cigarettes exceeding 90 percent, and the used up Tobacco Fund, only 14.6 tons were domestic tobacco out of 121 tons used in the production in 2018.