Cigarette sales fall - first time in five years

30th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

30 January 2006, MADRID – Cigarette sales in Spain have fallen for the first time in five years, according to figures released on Monday.

30 January 2006

MADRID – Cigarette sales in Spain have fallen for the first time in five years, according to figures released on Monday.

The Commission for the Tobacco Market reported that sales fell by 0.6 percent last year, with a total of 92,699.53 million cigarettes sold.

The overall decline in sales might have been more remarkable since in the first three months of 2005 sales were hit by 6 percent.

However, in response, tobacco companies launched new low-cost lines to win back customers.

In 1999 the consumption of cigarettes decreased by 1.2 percent, but ever since then Spain has witnessed higher and higher sales. In 2000, they rose by 1.9 percent, followed by 2.7 percent the next year, 0.8 percent in 2002, 1.9 percent in 2003 and 1 percent in 2004.

The department of health is hoping that Spain's new anti-smoking law, introduced on 1 January, will hit cigarette sales more. Smoking kills 50,000 people a year – the largest cause of death.

Under the new law, smoking at the work place and in many other public areas is banned.

On Monday, several hundred newsagents demonstrated in front of the department of health's headquarters in Madrid against the ban, introduced by the law, on them selling cigarettes and cigars.

The Confederation of Sellers of the Press, which organised the protest, said the ban would lead to the loss of 25,000 jobs in Spain's newspaper kiosks and could see income fall at kiosks by up to 95 percent.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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