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Smoking gets more expensive

China has increased taxes on tobacco products, the government said over the weekend.

The taxes rose to 56 percent from 45 percent on cigarette cartons costing 70 yuan (US$10.24) or more, the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation said in a statement.

The taxes for cigarette cartons costing less than 70 yuan rose from 30 percent to 36 percent.

"The move aims to 'moderately' increase financial revenue, and 'perfect' the taxation mechanism," said the document released on the SAT Website.

The taxes on cigars rose to 36 percent from 25 percent.

China has the world's largest number of smokers at about 350 million in 2008.


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