Cigarette consumption is falling and since the beginning of this year, in just two months, 59.43 million fewer cigarettes have been sold than during the same period of 2012.
Cigar and cigarillo sales are also dropping, according to the Tax and Customs Authority (AT).
Nonetheless, fiscal revenue is rising thanks to a hike in taxes placed upon these products, which came into force with this year’s State Budget.
According to economics website Dinheiro Vivo, between January and February this year the sale of cigarettes contracted by 17.55 percent, which translates into 59.43 million fewer cigarettes being bought.
Cigarillo sales dropped by 69.08 percent (797,000 fewer units) and around 130,000 fewer cigars left the shelves.
Specialists say that this most recent drop in tobacco sales did not catch anyone by surprise as it was a trend noted throughout 2012 when previous tax hikes were imposed on tobacco.
This year tobacco tax was increased again and everything points towards this being the main reason behind the contraction.
In 2012 the tax hike on cigarettes drove many smokers to buy roll-up tobacco. No figures are available for sales of that product this year, but tax on loose tobacco was also raised and this too could eventually have a negative impact.