A mini-market survey carried out in Kigali City shows that prices of Embassy, Intore and SM cigarettes manufactured by British American Tobacco Rwanda (BAT Rwanda) have increased, some by Frw30 per cigarette.
Most shops in the city are retailing a dozen packets of Intore, that used to sell at Frw3,500, at Frw3,500. A packet that used to be retailed at Frw400 is now Frw500.
The World Health Organisation says smoking cigarettes kills almost 5 million people world wide each year. Perhaps it is most significant that smoking drains public health services.
To discourage smoking amongst populations, most governments impose high taxes on imported and locally manufactured tobacco products.
BAT Rwanda claims factory prices have not changed despite the high taxes the company pays to government.
Consumers say the increase in prices has not affected their smoking habits.
“Even if one stick increases to Frw100 it will not stop me from smoking. This is my daily bread,” said Claude Nyaga, 25, who has been smoking since he was seven years old.