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Cigarettes Prices Surge Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

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Shop keepers in Lahore have increased the costs of both local and imported (duty-free) cigarettes amid a 14-day lockdown in Punjab.

According to a report by an area media outlet, shop owners are now operating from homes due to the closure of markets. In an interview with the media, one among the shopkeepers stated that a “danda” (pack of 10 cigarettes) of “Benson Double O” was available at Rs. 1,950 but now it’s being sold at Rs. 2,300 to Rs. 2,500.

Similarly, Dunhill Lights was available at Rs. 1,950 and it’s now being sold at Rs. 2,600 while L&M Lights is being sold at Rs. 900 against the previous rate of Rs 700.

In the imported range, there are three hottest brands among others and their prices are likely to travel up further due to limited supply within the market, he added.

Marlboro Lights imported price has also gone up from Rs. 270 to Rs. 310-Rs. 320 per pack.

The price of L&M Lights is probably going to extend sharply within the coming days since many of us had switched to the present brand after the worth for one pack of Benson Double O, and Dunhill Lights reached Rs. 300 or above.

Shop owners are now also offering free home delivery services but with a minimum order of Rs 1,000 or so.

In the local range, Capstan and John Players gold foil are two highly demanded brands. Now a danda of Capstan is being sold at Rs. 850 against the previous rate of Rs. 767 while the gold foil is out there at Rs. 2,000 rather than Rs. 1,700.

A number of traders are of the view that the closure of outlets by the govt wasn’t an honest decision as an outsized population is hooked into paan and smoking and restricting or banning access to those items isn’t possible.

Small-scale traders also are compelled to sell the available stock at surging rates “because they too have families to feed”.

They explained that just in case of closure of 1 shop or another, a smoker or paan addict won’t stop his look for his desired item until he/she gets it. Similarly, a lover also doesn’t bother what proportion he/she is spending just in case of shortage of the merchandise, they added.

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