Among a huge list of EU proposals to be introduced in the near future is a ban on 10 packs of cigarettes. The ban, along with RYO packs under 20g, is being carried out in a bid to reduce smoking rates and prevent children taking up the habit, but will it achieve its aims?
We sell quite a few 10 packs but 20s are our biggest seller by miles. I don’t know it’ll have much of an effect on my overall sales. I’m assuming people that buy 10s will just buy a 20 pack every other day instead. We’re one of the few countries in Europe that sells 10 packs so there’s not really a strong argument to keep selling them. Of course, I’m coming at it from the perspective of a non-smoker and a retailer who makes 4% margin on cigarettes. I do think it might be awkward for a while, but only for a while.
We don’t sell anywhere near as many 10 as we do 20s. Part of that is down to the fact 20s are all price marked more than 10s. The Government, the EU are running riot on this one and it’s not going to help. Banning 10s will do nothing except increase the illicit trade. All the authorities are doing is creating more demand for selling under the table. For many peoples 10s give them control of their intake. If they’re forced to buy a 20 then they’ll be able to have that 11th or 12th cigarette of the day.
Some people will start sharing 20 packs but my main worry is that it will push more and more people into buying counterfeit or imported products. It’s becoming too expensive to buy 20 packs for people on low income so they buy 10s due to affordability, so without the option to buy 10s I think they’ll turn to illicit dealers. The EU is misguided on this one and hasn’t done its homework. Governments will lose tax revenue. It makes no sense. They want people to cut down but make them buy more?
I was flabbergasted when the proposals were announced. It’s not only the 10 packs, but the 20g minimum size of RYO and the rest. It seems that even though they want people to cut down they’re forcing them to increase what they’re spending. I can’t work out the logic. It also means customers who buy a 10 pack daily will only shop every second day, and I could lose additional sales. Who knows what will be next. With Scotland potential gaining independence its EU Membership will need ratified, so that’s a much bigger issue.