A popular Nottingham tobacconist fears that changes brought in during the Autumn Budget could be a real drag for his business.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced increases to the duty on tobacco in the Autumn Budget on Wednesday, November 22.
Increases are likely to be passed on to consumers with a predicted 28p rise in the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes.
Local tobacconist Ian Wallace, who manages Gauntleys in The Exchange which has been trading in Nottingham city centre since 1880, believes it will affect his business.
He said: “It’s going to be a bit of a killer. Every budget there has been an increase and it makes people go to cheaper shops and supermarkets.
“The main part of the business is being hit, and any increase is not welcome especially with the effects of Brexit. The increase will affect livelihoods.
“Some of the bigger supermarkets will be able to absorb the rise, but a lot of people will turn to cheaper products and the East Midlands has a huge problem with illicit tobacco.”
One smoker who feels put off by the rising cost is Matthew Dimmock.
The 21-year-old of Alfreton Road, Nottingham, said: “I am always trying to give it up, so this will give me a bigger incentive as it already makes me skint.
“I’m not really annoyed as it will help me kick the habit and others who are more addicted than me.”
Another smoker Adrian Lee still is not put off from lighting up.
The 18-year-old Nottingham Trent University student, said: “I don’t mind the price of cigarettes, I’ll probably still pay it.”
Other local businesses such as e-cigarette stores could profit from smokers who decide to swap cigarettes for alternatives.
James Inger, deputy manager of Eco-Vape on Upper Parliament Street, thinks that the increase could be positive news for his store.
“Every day our business grows and the increase will always help here,” he said.
“There is a never ending rotation of people who are addicted to nicotine and with vaping they save money and save their health.
“Now more and more people will be vaping and it will be a continuous path of growth for us.”
In his speech to the House of Commons, Philip Hammond said: “The tobacco duty escalator will continue at inflation plus two per cent, with an additional one per cent duty on hand-rolling tobacco this year, and minimum excise duty on cigarettes will also rise.”
For more reactions to The Budget in Nottingham, follow our live blog here.