The excise duty on cigarettes is an enormous source of money for Mauritius. Year after year, it has been filling the coffer of the State with huge amounts of money. It makes up 4.5% of all revenues. This year, an increase of 7% in the tax has made the revenues to go beyond the usual Rs 4 billions.
Tobacco smoking has been proven to be extremely detrimental to health. Still… In spite of this, people continue to stick to this bad habit. According to the stats calculated, tobacco-smoking accounts for at least 4 % of deaths caused by cancer, while 17% of diseases caused by respiratory diseases are due to cigarettes. The statistics horrify us all. However difficult it is to quit smoking though, as per the officials of the Ministry of Health, more than 2000 smokers have requested the services of Tobacco Cessation Clinics to do away with this bad habit having deleterious effects on their health.
The tobacco industry still remains one of the most lucrative businesses in Mauritius. At the same time, the government has put in enormous efforts to sensitise people about the negative aspects of tobacco smoking. Sadly enough, the stats are quite depressing: more than 1600 cigarettes are smoked per year by one person.