The dramatic decline follows the implementation of excise tax in October 2018
The sale of tobacco and related products plummeted 97.2 percent in January 2018 compared to the same period last year, according to data from the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD).
According to SCAD, the dramatic decrease of tobacco sales is the highest since the adoption of excise tax in October 2018, which includes a 100 percent price increase in tobacco, as well as price hikes on a number of products “that harm public health” such as soft and energy drinks.
The SCAD statistics show that the tobacco trade also fell 53.4 percent in Q4 2017.
According to retailers surveyed by the state-run WAM news agency, the actual drop in Abu Dhabi’s tobacco trade started in Q4 2017, “after large segments of society relinquished purchases following the significant rise in prices.”
The figures show that the emirate’s trade in tobacco and related products stood at AED 2.3 million ($626,209) in January, down from AED 84.5 million ($23 million) during the same month in 2017.
Additionally, tobacco imports were down from AED 55,000 ($14,974) in January 2017 to AED 33,000 ($8,894) in January 2018.
No tobacco exports were recorded during Q1 2018, according to SCAD.