More kick the habit as ban hits cigarette sales

18th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

18 August 2006, MADRID — A ban on smoking at work is hitting cigarette sales, it was reported on Friday.

18 August 2006

MADRID — A ban on smoking at work is hitting cigarette sales, it was reported on Friday.

The Spanish daily El Pais said in the first seven months of the year there had been significant falls as a result of the ban on smoking in the workplace and restrictions in bars and restaurants introduced at the start of this year.

Manufacturers sold 2.54 billion packs of cigarettes in the seven months to July, a fall of 3.5 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Sales in July alone were down 3.4 percent at 396 million packs.

Combined turnover of the sector dropped EUR 22 million in the month to EUR 906 m, while sales in the seven months fell 4.4 percent to EUR 5.63bn.

Sales were also hit by a price war at the start of this year and by the growing success of lower-cost brands.

French-Spanish tobacco group Altadis saw the market share of its leading Fortuna brand drop 4.6 points to 10.9 percent.

Meanwhile Philip Morris' Marlboro — Spain's leading brand — held a market share  at the end of July of 16.74 percent, down slightly from 17.25 percent a year earlier.

The crackdown on smoking in public places in Spain was not as tough as in other European countries such as Ireland, where a total ban is in place.

Restaurants and bars in Spain have the option of designating their premises as smoking or non-smoking.

The Spanish government, however, plans to further tighten restrictions next year.

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Subject: Spanish news

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