In the UK, the number of smokers has dropped significantly since 2011. In a report made by Public Health Matters in 2018, it reveals that there were around 2 million fewer people smoking. This might lead you to believe that the tobacco industry is dwindling, but in fact, it’s the opposite.

If fewer people are smoking, how are tobacco factories still making a huge profit?

The marketing for these industries has shifted towards selling products that are ‘smoke-free’ or healthier alternatives such as vapes. However even with these products out there, somehow their profits don’t even come close to the profits gained from traditional cigarettes. A small amount of $4bn in comparison to $25bn net revenue.

Part of the reason tobacco factories are still earning so much money is because cigarettes are so cheap to make, with the fundamental ingredients being nicotine wrapped in layers of paper. This, plus being able to sell them for an extortionate amount more than what they have invested due to the fact that people are addicted.

The increase in government tax on cigarettes has been the most effective push for the incentive to quit smoking, with prices rising by 76p for premium cigarettes and 43p for value cigarettes between 2013 and 2015. On top of the tax, Tobacco industries increased their prices on premium cigarettes by another 53p, while simultaneously dropping the price for value cigarettes which keeps smokers who can’t afford the price increase, while also making more profit off those who can.

Scarily, a survey from BMJ Journals in 2013 indicates that 207,000 children of ages 11-15 start lighting up each year, while 8 out of 10 adults start smoking before the age of 19. With the rise in prices from tax and the manufacturers it should mean this number has or will go down…

Originally created and published by The Guardian

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