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PETALING JAYA: A consumer group today called for increased taxes on cigarettes and urged the government not to bow to demands to lower taxes and mandated prices so as to counter cheaper, smuggled smokes in the market.

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) said the tobacco industry had called for the lowering of prices in claiming that 60% of the cigarettes smoked by five million Malaysians were smuggled, with 456 million sticks smuggled in the first half of this year.