Chancellor George Osborne added 37p more to the price of a packages of 20 cigs last month, taking the retail cost of even the most inexpensive smoking brands which cost less than £7. But hand-rolled cigs are much cheaper. Andrew Corrieri, a director of the specialist tobacconist Brucciani in Scotch Street, Carlisle, has seen sales of loose of tobacco products. He explained: “It’s been going up steadily. Turnover has doubled in the last five years and it’s all down to price. “We’ve also seen changes in the sales of cigs. Smokers are trading down from premium to sub-premium and budget brands, and from budget brands to hand rolling.”
The traditional way to make roll-ups is to purchase tobacco, special papers for cigarettes and filter tips for self assembly.
The cost for 20 cigs works out at between £2.38 and £3.32, in comparison with £6.95 for a pack of Lambert & Butler, the cheapest smoking brand at Brucciani.
The store also sells a machine for £3.99 that fills empty tubes that look exactly like traditional cigarettes. Each tube cost a penny. Mr. Corrieri explained: “A lot of women like these cigs because they are self-conscious about smoking roll-ups.” And there is any evidence that hand-rolled cigs are less bad for people’s health.