Cyprus Tobacco Sales Spike During Lockdown

Sales of tobacco and cigarettes in Cyprus skyrocketed between March and April 2020.
According Retail Zoom, the sale of loose tobacco went up by 28 percent during the Covid-19 lockdown while cigarettes sales increased by 12 percent.
The spike could be linked to a government decision to close all checkpoints to the north as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic.
Many Cypriots regularly travel to the north to illegally buy tobacco and cigarettes at cheaper rates. With access to the north forbidden, many had to revert to buying them legally and at full price.
Cigarette sales totaled €28 million ($33.1 million) at the end of May compared with €23 million at the start of February. Over the same period, the sale of loose tobacco increased from €3 million to €4.5 million.
According to KPMG, illegal sales in 2019 accounted for 14.3 percent of all tobacco sales, the highest rate ever recorded in the country. The black market caused the government to miss out on €28 million in revenues.