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Smokers stocking up ahead of Friday’s ¥120 price hikes

Date Posted: 2010-09-30

Smoking gets more expensive tomorrow, as the Japan Tobacco Industrial Company Okinawa Branch estimates costs will go up ¥120 a pack, and some popular brands even more, but that few smokers will kick the habit because of the increases.

Retail shops, including Okinawa FamilyMart and other convenience stores, increased stocks 20-30% to cover last minute runs on cartons of cigarettes. One customer bought 12 cartons, vowing “I will not stop smoking,” but admitting “I believe these 12 cartons of cigarettes will be gone within three months.” Another five-year smoker says this may be “a good chance to quit.”

At Junkdo, Okinawa’s largest bookstore, a salesman says “books advising smokers how to give up the habit or reduce smoking, books costing over ¥2,000, are selling very well.” He says “we have set up a special plastic tobacco kit corner, and sales of all tobacco-related items are increasing.

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