Cigarette prices to go up tomorrow

PETALING JAYA: Cigarette prices are set to go up Wednesday following an increase in excise of more than 40%.

British American Tobacco Malaysia (BAT Malaysia), in a statement on Tuesday, said it was increasing prices of its cigarettes after having taken into consideration the sum mandated by the excise increase and its impact on GST and inflationary cost pressures.

The new prices effective Wednesday are as follows: Dunhill range RM17.00, Kent range RM17.00, Benson & Hedges RM17.00, Peter Stuyvesant range RM15.50, Pall Mall range RM15.50, Lucky Strike Plain RM17.50 and Shuang Xi range RM18.00.

The tobacco company also expressed “extreme disappointment and shock” at what it described as an unprecedented massive increase in excise, adding that it would result in more illegal cigarettes flooding the market.

Managing director Stefano Clini said the tobacco industry had already been hit by a huge 12% increase in cigarette excise just a year ago on Nov 1, 2014.

The 2014 hike was then followed by the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at 6% beginning April 1 this year, it said.

“The legal tobacco market has declined by 10% on a September year-to-date basis. This extreme hike in cigarette excise done against the backdrop of both weakened economy and consumer sentiments will definitely fuel further an already high level of illegal cigarettes, where one in three packs is illegal.

“We cannot imagine the impact that this more than 40% increase in excise will have on the industry” said Clini. 

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