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While the current price for cigarettes might never compare to the price smokers paid to get their fix during Level 5, 4 and 3 of lockdown, some cigarette brands are more expensive now than before.

Business Insider reports that the prices of premium brands, like Camel, have increased by 35%. The prices of mid-market brands like Winston and Rothmans have stayed about the same. Marlboro is 30% more expensive, while the price of Peter Stuyvesant has increased by 19%.

As if the increase hasn’t been bad enough, British American Tobacco has informed retailers that the price of their brands will increase on Monday 24 August.

The company has been unable to sell their brands since lockdown started at the end of March. In the statement, the international cigarette manufacturer gave the reasoning for the increase in prices.

"South Africa’s tobacco value chain lost millions of Rands of urgently needed income over the last 140 days of unjustifiable tobacco and vapour sales ban."

As most smokers believe the ban will not stay lifted, retailers have struggled to keep up with demand. Netwerk24 reports that some retailers sold twice as much on the first day the ban ended as they usually sell in a month.

Image credit: EWN and Business Insider

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