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Tobacco Industry Monitor

Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance

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The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, formerly Burma, has a population of nearly 56 million[1] while Tobacco harms the population in Myanmar, 65,651 of its people die by tobacco related diseases in 2018.[2]

Smoking in Myanmar[3]
GlobalData estimates that Myanmar has a smoking population of 11.15 million in 2019. 76.6% (8.543 million) of smoking population are male and 23.4% (2,604 million) female. Overall, 27.2% of adults in Myanmar are estimated to be smokers, although most smoke products other than cigarettes. Comparisons with earlier figures are made difficult by variations in survey methods and results.

Tobacco in Myanmar[4]
As of August 2020, packs of 20 cigarettes with a market price of K600 each attracted an excise tax of K120 with taxes increasing for expensive locally produced brands. For brands costing K1,001 per pack or more, the level of excise tax is K420 per pack. Apart from Pack Prices K501-600 and K701-800, current tax rates are up on those in 2018.

Who Dominates the Market?[5]
Until very recently, cigarette manufacturing was controlled by a state monopoly trading as the People’s Cigarette Industry Management Committee. The headquarters of the organization were in Kamayutt, Yangon (Rangoon). Two state-owned production facilities were in operation: one in Yangon and the other at Pakokku. The first of the two previously state-owned production facilities is the Myanmar Singapura United Tobacco Co Ltd (MSU), located at Yangon. The operation is now a joint venture between the JV-Myanmar Foodstuff Industries and a Singapore company, Singapore United Tobacco Ltd. The joint venture was established in 1992 to produce cigarettes and other tobacco products. The other previously state-owned manufacturer is Myanmar Glacier Co Ltd (MGC), located at Pakokku in the central region of the country. Production as a joint venture company was understood to have commenced in 1995, in partnership with a South Korean company, Glacier.

BAT is a majority partner in BAT Myanmar and is investing US$50 million over five years into new production facilities in order to produce the London brand locally. Reports in 2017 suggest that the company has had a major impact on the market with 22% of sales for 2016. JTI is another multinational that has long been active in the market and one that is now making plans to supply Myanmar via local production. A number of smaller, private manufacturers also operate in the market, although their number has been greatly reduced since 2000. BAT is understood to have taken 22% of the market in 2016 and 21% in 2017. JTI was credited with 18% in 2016 and 18.5% in 2017. 

Roadmap to Tobacco Control
Myanmar ratified WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on 21 April 2004 and has become the member of WHO FCTC on 27 February 2005.[6] Before being the member of WHO FCTC, the Commercial Tax Law No.8/90 was effective in Myanmar since 1990 prescribing tobacco as one of taxable goods. WHO FCTC is significant mechanism providing guidance to improve domestic tobacco control laws and policies in Myanmar.

Tobacco Control Legislation in Myanmar[7]

1990The Commercial Tax Law No.8/90. It is the document from the State Law and Order Restoration Council, providing details of the Myanmar Commercial Tax Law.
2006Myanmar Tobacco Control Law
2011Letter from President of the Union on Smoke-free Ministries and Government Office Buildings, the President of the Union gives instruction to all Ministries and Government Offices to abide with the Smoke-free regulations.

Order of Printing Warning Images and Texts on the Packaging of Tobacco Products

Notification for Printing and Labeling of Health Warning Messages and Graphics on the Packaging of Tobacco Products 


Directive to Comply with Guidelines on Contact with Cigar and Tobacco Product Manufacturer, Distributor, Seller or Related person


[1] Global Data, Myanmar Cigarettes, 2020
[2] https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272686/wntd_2018_myanmar_fs.pdf?sequence=2
[3] Global Data, Myanmar Cigarettes, 2019
[4] Ibid
[5] Ibid
[6] https://untobaccocontrol.org/impldb/myanmar/
[7] https://seatca.org/resource-center-asean-tc-myanmar/