Sales of cigarettes and tobacco products rise during lockdown

Britons are smoking their way through the coronavirus crisis.

Sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products have unexpectedly risen during the pandemic, according to Imperial Brands. 

It is thought smokers are spending more on tobacco as they save money in other areas, such as travel and holidays.

Up in smoke: Sales of cigarettes and tobacco products have unexpectedly risen during the pandemic, according to Imperial Brands

Up in smoke: Sales of cigarettes and tobacco products have unexpectedly risen during the pandemic, according to Imperial Brands

Up in smoke: Sales of cigarettes and tobacco products have unexpectedly risen during the pandemic, according to Imperial Brands

Working from home also means many are not restricted in when they can smoke.

The drop in travel means smokers are also buying more cigarettes from shops in the UK, instead of in duty-free shops abroad.

Imperial now expects revenue from its tobacco products to rise by around 1 per cent in the year to September 30, with demand being driven by the UK and other major European countries, as well as the US. 

By comparison, sales of its newer vaping products have plunged by 30 per cent. Imperial said: ‘Consumers appear to have allocated more of their spend to tobacco.

‘The tobacco business has continued to perform well despite an uncertain and disrupted trading environment.’

Imperial said its next-generation products category, which includes vape pen Blu, fared much worse.

Chief executive Stefan Bomhard said: ‘Imperial has continued to show resilience in adapting to the challenges posed by the pandemic.’ 

Imperial will report full-year results on November 17. Shares dipped 0.6 per cent or 7.5p to 1356p.

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