Cigarettes and smoking in Tunisia -
- Prices, import norms and rules of smoking in hotels
If you describe the situation with cigarettes and smoking in Tunisia in one word, then this will be the word "CHAOS". High taxes on tobacco here are adjacent to the open sale of contraband cigarettes, the anti-smoking law exists only on paper, and each hotel establishes the rules of smoking itself. Let's try to figure it all out.
Facts and Figures
For Tunisians, smoking is a man's occupation. According to official statistics in Tunisia, 45.1% of men smoke and only 4.4% of women.
If a woman smokes, the Tunisians look at this "askew". Get used to, this mentality of this people. However, this does not apply to hotels in Tunisian resorts , in which the staff is already used to everything.
The Germans, the French and the British in Tunisia "smolder like locomotives." And it's done by men and women, and even not smoking at home in general. For them, Tunisia is a place of relaxation, where there are no rigid rules and frameworks, like at home. The second means of "ottyaga" for Europeans is Tunisian alcohol , since it is cheap and of high quality.
At the same time, Tunisia hardly grows tobacco. Under this culture there are only about 1200 hectares of sown area. In comparison, in China, 1,500,000 hectares are used for growing tobacco, and 495,000 hectares of land in India. Most of the tobacco in Tunisia is imported, which affects prices.
Prices for cigarettes in Tunisia
In Tunisia, high taxes on tobacco products. Of course, before taxes on cigarettes in Turkey is still far away, but Tunisian taxes are higher than in Russia. A tutu of Marlboro costs 5.5 Tunisian dinars . This information is for the end of 2015.
In the price of Tunisian cigarettes, 70% are taxes and state fees. But this applies only to legal products. The largest part of the tobacco market in Tunisia is illegal tobacco - counterfeiting and smuggling. It is these cigarettes that smoke most Tunisians.
Most of the contraband comes from neighboring Algeria. Such cigarettes are much cheaper. Only 1,2 dinars - the minimum price, which we once were able to bargain with a local Arab. The usual price tag is 2-3 dinars, depending on the brand.
Among counterfeit cigarettes there are both American and European brands. Once we even saw Chinese cigarettes brand "Double Happiness". Smuggling to Tunisia is carried from all over the world.
Of course, contraband Marlboro or L & M have nothing to do with the original - this is a real fake. But Chinese cigarettes were real. Their sharp taste does not mix with anything.
On the European websites on the Internet they write that they are very harmful to health. Europeans generally consider any counterfeit very harmful to health. They are actively propagating in this regard. Do not be surprised if tomorrow their media will write, that from illegally downloaded music, their ears swell, and from pirate films develops retinal cancer. In this respect, satirist Mikhail Zadornov is right - they blindly believe the media.
The composition of such cigarettes is a mystery. In this case, no one guarantees anything to anyone. Most Tunisians smoke them, and there are no outbreaks of the corresponding diseases in the country. Tunisians are not more likely to suffer from smoking-related illnesses. The last fact indicates that such cigarettes are quite adequate quality.
But we will not recommend them to buy. After all, this is a lottery, and nobody wants to lose their health in this lottery. Take cigarettes with you, so reliable.
Rules for the importation of tobacco products into Tunisia
On the territory of Tunisia, you can import 200 cigarettes (one block) or 50 cigars or 400 grams of pipe tobacco. These figures are based on one adult tourist.
Tunisian customs officers are very loyal to tourists. On foreign websites, many write that they carried two blocks, and there were no complaints.
Also, the Tunisian customs regulations do not say anything about the age of the passenger. Purely nominally, children also have the full right to transport one block of cigarettes. Details can be found in our article " What and how much you can bring to Tunisia ".
Of course, we do not give guarantees that you are not "braked" on the border with two blocks of cigarettes. We only retell the reviews of German, French and English tourists. You act at your own peril and risk.
If cigarettes are not enough, then they can always be bought in Tunisia, there are no restrictions on trade here.
There is a feeling that they are absent. Cigarettes are sold to all stores, where there is at least a little space for the stand. They say that this does not require any license at all, but we could not verify this information.
Illegal cigarettes are sold in shops, stalls, and even with hands. Moreover, no one hides smuggled tobacco under the counter. Everything lies openly and at the same time in front of the police. Illegal cigarettes are sold freely in the resort areas.
In Tunisia produce their own cigarettes, their quality is at least somehow guaranteed. The most famous brands are MARS International and CRISTAL. The price of these cigarettes varies from 2.5 to 4 dinars per pack. If left without cigarettes during the rest, then we recommend to buy them.
An interesting moment, that in Tunisia it is customary to write the composition of cigarettes on a pack, it looks very funny. See our mini photo gallery below.
Theoretically, in Tunisia there is a law # 17 of 1998, which defines the rules and restrictions of smoking. In Tunisia there is a penalty for breaking the rules of smoking - 25 Tunisian dinars.
In practice, no one observes this law, and most Tunisians do not even know about its existence. Here they smoke everywhere, where it does not threaten safety, which often shock tourists . Naturally, at petrol stations and on the airport airfield, smoking is strictly prohibited.
Each hotel in Tunisia establishes the rules of smoking independently. In the vast majority of Tunisian hotels you can smoke right in the rooms. Many hotels can smoke in bars and restaurants. In good hotels there are always two bars - smoking and non-smoking. In this case, everyone is happy.
Again we return to the topic of reviews of foreign tourists. They like to say that the Russians are always unhappy. But as soon as it comes to smoking, the most displeased are the European tourists.
They are divided into two camps. The first say: "I'm on vacation, I want to smoke without restrictions!" The second declare: "I'm on vacation, why should I breathe tobacco smoke!" And both groups are right in their own way. But both groups are extremely unhappy with each other.
Tunisia is the "Mecca" for those who smoke and drink Europeans. Those who are not interested in harmful preferences prefer Turkey.
That's all we wanted to talk about cigarettes and smoking in Tunisia. Read our other interesting articles about this country ( links below ).
Read about Tunisia on our website