A rise in smoking rates of 9.8% in 2019 from the year before, equated to a total of 13.8 billion cigarettes consumed, by almost 7 million smokers.
With the implementation of this measure, Article 25 of Law No. 46.02, Morocco is finally aligning its tobacco regulations to international industry standards and setting in place limits with regards to carbon monoxide, and percentages of tar and nicotine.
A 2017 investigation by Swiss journalists Marie Maurisse and Gie Goris, had found that the cigarettes sold from Switzerland to Morocco, contained significantly higher levels of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide, than those sold in Switzerland or France. While reports from 2019, revealed that 71% of the cigarettes sold in Morocco contained 14 milligrams of tar, a level which goes against international legal standards.
Another major issue identified with regards to local cigarette standards, was that cigarette packs found in Morocco tended to be mis-labeled or contained no labeling at all.
To this effect, the new bill amends current labels to include ratios of carbon monoxide. Bill 66.20 also aims to align with the The 2021 Finance Bill, which amongst other things, sets in place an internal consumption tax on e-cigarettes of MAD 1,500 ($163) for every 1,000 grams.
Smoking still on the increase
Data pertaining to smoking rates also released in 2019, had indicated that smoking prevalence was still on the increase. With a rise of 9.8% compared to the year before, the figures indicated that a total of 13.8 billion cigarettes were consumed, by almost 7 million smokers.
Meanwhile, the use of e-cigarettes remains permitted without restrictions and the importation of nicotine e-liquids and hardware items is not regulated or blocked by customs. However, given that most products are imported from the European market, they tend to be available on the Moroccan market at the standards imposed by the EU TPD, such as the maximum nicotine strength of 20 mg/ml.
Read Further: Morocco World News