The National, Wednesday 22nd August 2012
SMOKERS in Port Moresby are being asked to dig deeper into their pockets for their habit following the recent rise in prices.
A survey found street vendors selling a cigarette for between K1.20 and K1.50 each, up from the K1 they charged for single rolls before. A packet of locally-made cigarettes now costs K18, from K14.
Luke Kun, a vendor frequenting bus stops on Waigani Drive confirmed cigarette prices had risen sharply.
The greatest price rises are for the locally-made British American Tobacco products of Red and Green Pall Mall.
But, Kun said, most vendors still sold single rolls for K1 so they had a faster turnover.
He said street sellers who got their supplies from Gordon and retail outlets were wondering if BAT’s cigarette production in Madang had been affected.
A visit to the Vision City Mega Mall last Friday confirmed prices have risen, with a packet now selling for K18.70 – extra K4 over the previous price.
Attempts to get comments from the BAT head office in Port Moresby were unsuccessful but a formal response is expected soon.
The border town of Vanimo, West Sepik, is selling Indonesian-made cigarettes Marco Polo and Surya like hot cakes at K3 and K5 a packet.
Long-time resident Selina Korei said loose cigarettes sold for 40t and 20t to the delight of smokers there.
Korei said despite warnings and awareness conducted through radio and other mediums, there was no change cigarettes sales.
In Port Moresby, the cheapest cigarettes are Fiji-made Dunhills, which sell for K11.50-K11.90 in most outlets.