In Goa Cigarette smokers are under a crisis of their own. They are beginning to feel the pinch of shortage, as cigarette stocks in the state are dwindling. The manufacturers on April 1, 2016 had stopped their production over the current deadlock over the ‘pictorial warning’ on the cigarette pack issue.
The September 24, 2015 notification (from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare) for implementation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014 came into force from Friday. Under this the Tobacco manufacturers were to dedicate 85% of display are to ‘warning signs’ about the health risk smoking a cigarette.
A wholesaler in the Mapusa market has already run out of stock for a few brands. Upon asking why there is a shortage he replied, “Cigarette companies have stopped production”. A shopkeeper upon asking how he will deal with the current situation he said, “I have decided to sell cigarettes only to my loyal customers, I will not sell any (Cigarettes) to new faces”
Since the production is shut the wholesalers in Goa are relying on the stocks and may run out in a few days. This has led many to speculate that the prices of the cigarettes maybe jacked up to make the most of the given situation. Another shopkeeper based in Porvorim mentioned to a customer, “Due to the crisis people will even pay Rs. 150 for Rs. 110 worth of pack”.
The second shopkeeper quoted earlier also mentioned, “I have received more frequency of customers for the past two days, I guess some other shopkeepers in the area have finished their stock”. The shop owner is based in Porvorim.
It certainly seems like Goa may have a serious shortage of cigarettes if the situation continues. But, these companies that have stopped product make up for 98% of the industry. 2% is still in business.