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Smokers paying over the odds?

Smokers paying over the odds?

Sunday 20 April 2014

Smokers paying over the odds?

A packet of cigarettes costs a lot more in Jersey than in does in the UK once you strip away all the taxes.

According to the competition regulator a packet is roughly 90p more expensive than the UK and 7p more expensive than in Guernsey and CICRA’s study shows that discounting the taxes, Jersey consumers spend almost £4 million extra on cigarettes a year than they would in the UK.

Ministers requested the review into the level of pricing and costs after concerns about alleged profiteering by parties involved in the supply of tobacco products in the Island.

Most of the tobacco supplied in Jersey is imported by just two companies under exclusive agreements with the manufacturers whereas large retailers in the UK usually source directly from the manufacturer.

CICRA interim chief executive Michael Byrne said the biggest contributing factors to the high cost of tobacco in Jersey was duties, the need for packaging in the Channel Islands to be different from that of the UK, and very small production runs for Channel Islands’ cigarettes.

He said: “Leaving aside the public health issues, which are a matter for government, there is a potential need to find remedies to address some of the factors identified in the study.” 

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