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U.S. cigarette prices rising

| June 11, 2013

Cigarette prices are rising again, with the three largest tobacco manufacturers expressing confidence that another increase won’t deter smokers in a sluggish economy, according to a story in the Winston-Salem Journal.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard and Philip Morris USA confirmed Friday that prices for most of their brands are going up. The increase goes into effect Monday for Philip Morris and Wednesday for Reynolds.

Reynolds and Lorillard are raising the list price by $0.06 a pack, or $0.60 a carton. Although the list price is geared toward wholesale and direct-buying customers, such increases are usually passed on to consumers.

Meanwhile, Philip Morris is decreasing its national off-invoice promotional discount to wholesale and direct-buying customers on all Marlboro and L&M styles by $0.06 a pack, effectively raising the price for consumers. The list price is going up by $0.06 a pack for its other cigarette brands.

Reynolds spokesman Bryan Hatchell said the prices are going up on 21 brands, including Pall Mall and Camel, its two most popular. “As always, we cannot speculate on how this will affect price at retail as we do not set the price at retail,” Hatchell said.

In some instances, price increases go up quicker for the lower-level brands compared with the most popular.


Seoul may link cigarette prices to inflation

| May 10, 2013

South Korea may link cigarette price hikes to the growth of consumer inflation in an effort to reduce smoking and secure more revenue, reports The Korea Herald.

Tobacco prices have been frozen at KRW2,500 ($2.28) per pack for more than eight years. The health ministry earlier said average cigarette prices need to be raised to KRW7,000 per pack to reduce the country’s smoking rate to what it called a desirable level.

However, an official at the finance ministry argued for a more moderate approach, saying increases by more than KRW2,000 could have unintended side effects.

Korea’s overall smoking rate dropped from 28.8 percent in 2005 to 27 percent in 2011, according to health ministry numbers.