Alert, alert. British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd (BAT Malaysia) has announced that it will increase prices of all its cigarette brands! Before today, a pack of Dunhill Menthol Lights (20s) costs RM12. However, according to a statement yesterday, the tobacco company said the price of a pack of 20s will go up by RM1 to RM13 for Dunhill, Benson & Hedges, and Kent. The price of Lucky Strike and Rothmans brands will also increase to RM13.50 a pack, while the Peter Stuyvesant and Pall Mall cigarette range will increase by RM1 as well to RM11.50 for a pack.
BAT Malaysia managing director Stefano Clini in the statement
The operating environment is very challenging with costs to produce and distribute each stick of cigarette escalating due to mounting inflationary cost pressure. This is amplified by progressive loss of legal domestic volumes over the years to illegal trade, decline in contract manufacturing volumes, and an overall very competitive trade and distribution channels.
Will other tobacco companies in Malaysia follow suit? When contacted by The Edge Financial Daily yesterday, a JT International Bhd (JTI Malaysia) spokesman said the company is not in a position to comment on the pricing decisions of other companies. “The prices of our products Mevius, Winston, Salem and Camel remain unchanged,” the spokesman added, when asked whether JTI Malaysia will follow suit in increasing prices of its cigarettes. As for Philip Morris International Malaysia (PMI) aka the company that distributes Marlboro, L&M, Sampoerna A, there has been no official word yet. However, rumours have been sent a-buzzin’ since BAT’s announcement that prices of PMI’s cigarette brands will increase in the coming few days too.
Okay, smokers, perhaps there’s no better time than now to drop the habit?