0150 GMT January 23, 2020
Khosrow Sadeq-Niyat added that despite the commitment made to World Health Organization to reduce tobacco use, the rate of cigarette consumption among Iranians has increased in recent years.
Referring to the rise in tobacco use among teenagers and girls, he said 30 percent of children below five years are exposed to tobacco smoke.
"About 65,000 people die of tobacco use in Iran annually," he said, adding that 50 billion cigarettes worth $33.33 million are smoked in the country annually.
He pointed out that 1.4 million people are tobacco smokers in the world, 6 million of whom die of tobacco-related illnesses annually.
The official said exposure to tobacco smoke causes 600,000 deaths a year worldwide.
Referring to the direct link between tobacco use and tax, Sadeq-Niyat said a rise in tax on the retail price of cigarettes will help reduce tobacco consumption.
"However, Majlis Joint Commission is opposed to the proposal submitted by the Health Ministry to the parliament in this respect," he said.