Friday, September 22, 2023

Tobacco: harmful to health, but opportune for the Dominican economy

The epidemic of smoking It claims more than eight million lives each year, more than seven million of these people die from direct consumption and 1.2 million are as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the production and export of this agricultural product is one of the main sources of employment in the country.

It is propitious to cite these data to bring up that today, May 31, is the World No Tobacco Day, where it is intended to promote control and publicize the effects and consequences caused by this product. In 1987 the World Health Assembly instituted this date with the purpose of calling worldwide attention to the tobacco epidemic and its lethal effects.

According to the WHO, each year some 65,000 children die from diseases related to secondhand tobacco smoke. In 2020, the incidence of tobacco consumption predominates in men with 36.7% and women only corresponds to 7.8% of the world population.

Despite this outlook, tobacco production in the country represents one of the main sources of employment, with some 110,000 direct and indirect jobs. This is stated in a statement from the Presidency of the Dominican Republic published in 2022.

Import and export

The Dominican Republic is a country with a high demand for this product. According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, by 2022, tobacco imports were registered with 59,819.67 metric tons worth more than US$586 million.

Regarding its export, the cigars elaborated by hand, with a cylinder made up of natural leaves, represented a value of US$225.36 million; those made by machine, with a cylinder made up of leaves, for a value of US$781.77 million and Virginia-type tobacco US$106.63 million, these three types being the ones with the highest export income in 2022, according to the General Directorate of Customs.

A total of 65,175 metric tons for a value that exceeds US$1,228 million, according to the register of the Department of agriculture.


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