Local French daily Monaco Matin has been asking tobacconists about their future as the price of a pack of most brands of cigarettes rose agin this week by 30 euro cents.
Tobacco shop owners in Menton – close to the border with Italy where cigarette prices are somewhat lower – told the daily that the only way to survive is to diversify into other products.
Some have moved into serving food and drinks, while others have added seasonal merchandise to their shelves, items like diving masks and swimwear. Loto is another favourite for the sometimes desperate tobacco shop owners.
“We sell everything we can,” one told the paper. With French cigarette prices heading for 10 euros a pack by 2020, many ‘tabacs’ see what was once their main merchandise becoming just an additional draw for customers.
However, there remains one ray of sunshine for smokers in Monaco. Tobacco prices are tied to the same figure as in France.