Cigarettes registered a decline in volume sales in 2020, as more people gave up smoking in light of the added respiratory danger caused by COVID-19. Another contribution to the fall in volume sales was the EU regulation over the banning of menthol-flavoured cigarettes which came into force in 2020.
Regular Estonian smokers continued to be loyal to their preferred brands in 2020. Moreover, graphic health warnings on cigarette packs and advertising restrictions have made it very difficult for manufacturers to attract consumers of rival brands.
Bans on smoking in public places continued to have a measurable impact on smoking prevalence, with health experts agreeing that this measure was the most effective in curbing smoking. Moreover, with tobacco point-of-sale displays and the advertising they afford now banned in the country thanks to an enactment of new Tobacco Law amendments in July 2019, consumers were further discouraged from smoking given the rising inconvenience of selecting a product as well as falling brand awareness.
Cigarettes are to continue to see a fall in volume sales over the forecast period, as consumers become more health conscious and also as a declining population leads to reduced volume sales. One positive of the pandemic was that there were fewer sales of illicit cigarettes but as borders open up again, illicit activity will resume at a high level.
Heated tobacco products could well be the new battleground mong players and cigarettes could suffer as a result. Global players are shifting their focus from cigarettes to heated tobacco products, which are not available in the country yet because of law restrictions.
Smoking rates usually increase during economic downturns, such as the 2008 global financial crisis, as smokers rely on cigarettes to get them through any stress and strain, despite the economic outlay. However, Estonian consumers are not only about to enter a period of economic hardship but are also increasingly concerned about health.
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RETAIL SALES OF DUTY PAID CIGARETTES The definition of cigarettes for the purposes of this study is duty-paid, machine manufactured white-stick products. This does not exclude brands of cigarettes that do not use white paper but it is designed to exclude the volume of non-machine manufactured products such as bidis/beedis (India) and papirosy (Russia), and other smoking products made with tobacco but that either do not resemble cigarettes as recognised in the US or Europe, or those that are not machine manufactured. The exclusion of these products is intended to give a more accurate picture of the "true" market for cigarettes and cigars which has been distorted in official statistics and published reports because of the inclusion of hybrid products. NB Please note that due to its central importance and integration into the industry mainstream, Indonesia’s market data does include hand-rolled kreteks DUTY-FREE sales are excluded from retail sales, as are herbal cigarettes. ILLICIT TRADE CIGARETTES Not included in retail sales, but split out separately in volume terms only. Defined as non-duty paid cigarettes (includes smuggled & counterfeit/fake products combined). Legitimate cross-border sales are considered duty-paid. Sales arising from a foreign national purchasing cheaper cigarettes in bulk in a neighbouring country for personal use and exported back are attributed to the country where the purchase is made (e.g. bulk cigarette sales by British nationals in France are attributed to France).See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Cigarettes research and analysis database.
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