As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the globe, people are stocking up on necessities. Even sales of tobacco products have grown in recent days, the Financial Times reports.
Sales of tobacco products in the UK rose by 9 per cent in the third week of March compared with the same period a year earlier, according to market research group Nielsen.
The spike contrasts with a 1 percent fall in the 12 months to March compared with the same period a year earlier, as health-conscious smokers quit or switched to reduced-risk products such as vaping devices and oral tobacco. Purchases of nicotine-replacement products increased by 5 percent year-on-year, but soared by 54 percent in the third week of March compared with the same period a year earlier, Nielsen said.
“If you are a smoker, you are pretty addicted to this stuff and if you are worried you won’t be able to get it then you will stockpile,” said Adam Spielman, an analyst at Citi, explaining that tobacco companies had increased shipments to retailers in the US due to “pantry loading by consumers”.