Smokers delighted to be able to buy their favorite cigarette brands again

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Tobacco sales reopened on Tuesday for the first time since the introduction of the COVID-19 lockdown in March. This has resulted in a growth in the sale of illicit brands on the black market, but today store shelves have been restocked and some stores have been sold due to demand.

A man enjoys one of his favorite cigarette brands outside a store in Athlone, Cape Town, as cigarettes are no longer banned after South Africa moved to level 2 of the coronavirus lockdown on August 18, 2020 in Cape Town. Photo: AFP

CAPE TOWN – Smokers can finally put their lips to favorite legal cigarette brands.

Tobacco sales reopened on Tuesday for the first time since the introduction of the COVID-19 lockdown in March.

This has resulted in a growth in the sale of illicit brands on the black market, but today store shelves have been restocked and some stores have been sold due to demand.

Studies have shown that most smokers did not quit during the lockdown and simply found illegal ways to get their dose.

Some smokers told EWN that they relied on what they called “connections”.

However, it was expensive.

A 20 pack that would normally cost R40, went between R120 and R200 on the black market.

And worse yet, smokers must have gotten drunk on cheaper illicit brands that many were not used to.

“It’s great that you can smoke what you used to smoke, not the Fong Kong stuff. I bought a pack of 20 Rothmans early this morning and it was worth 12. [of the illicit cigarettes], said a woman.

“I’m very, very, very happy to have my best friend back – Benson and Hedges Smooth Blue,” another smoker explained.

This smoker, who quit for five weeks because it was too expensive, said he was happy to be able to reignite.

“Yeah, we should have the right to decide what we want to do and there is no medical reason for us to quit smoking.”

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