Thailand experienced the strongest wave of COVID-19 starting from March 2021, as the Delta variant spread rapidly amongst the population. This was the third wave of the virus in the country.
The health trend is leading to consumers smoking fewer cigarettes. The government and various health and anti-smoking organisations campaigned to educate consumers on the damaging effects of smoking, especially in relation to COVID-19, which is a respiratory disease.
Philip Morris retained its dominant position in cigarettes in 2021, benefitting from its decision to lower the price of its L&M Red brand after new tax rates were introduced in 2017. This move meant that rather than incurring the 40% excise tax rate, the brand only incurred the 20% rate which is charged on cigarettes priced below THB60 per pack.
To curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the government of Thailand introduced a nationwide lockdown in 2020 which included the closure of non-essential stores and outlets including tobacco specialists and hotels/restaurants/bars. Channels excluded from the lockdown included grocery retailers such as supermarkets, hypermarkets, independent small grocers, and convenience stores.
The country’s reopening scheme implemented at the end of 2021 is expected to aid the recovery of tobacco, especially as the country’s tourism industry revives, boosting sales of foreigner-focused tobacco products such as cigar, cigarillos, and pipe tobacco (which have only limited local demand due to their high prices). The international flight ban has now ended together with the closure policy placed on high-end bars and speciality clubs.
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Data and analysis in this report provides further detailed coverage dedicated to the following key categories, where applicable:
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Passport Tobacco covers the seven major tobacco categories: Cigarettes, Cigars & Cigarillos, Smoking tobacco (made up of Pipe tobacco and RYO tobacco), Smokeless Tobacco (snuff and chewing tobacco), E-Vapour Products (closed and open); Heated Tobacco; and Tobacco Free Oral Nicotine. Smoking paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, lighters or matches, etc., are not included, nor are nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, which are part of Euromonitor's Passport Consumer Healthcare database.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Tobacco research and analysis database.
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