TOBACCO Station salesperson Alan Cranston is noticing Rockhampton customers are changing their ways when it comes to smoking.
The East St tobacconist said there had been a rise in people buying cigars - mainly mini-cigars but the biggest increase was seen with people buying tobacco to roll their own cigarettes.
New research released by Ray Morgan yesterday shows more people are turning off cigarettes in favour of cigars and rollies.
"We've started to sell a lot of flavoured mini-cigars - with the younger crowd aged between 19-25," Mr Cranston said.
Traditional cigar smokers aged over 40 are still buying cigars to smoke occasionally, where as the younger crowd seem to smoke them regularly, he said.
It was the rollies however, that smokers could not get enough of.
"Some companies have introduced other variants of particular brands as tobacco is selling so well...I reckon we've been selling about 30 extra pouches a week (from about 20 pouches to 50) over the last couple of months - people are getting ready for the price hike."
Depending on the size of the roll-your-own cigarette, people could get more value for money from a pouch of tobacco, he said.
Tobacco prices are set to rise by 12.5% on December 1, which will be the third price rise this year.
"It has made the older group more irate - many of them are switching to rollies after 30 years of smoking tailor-mades,'' Mr Cranston said.
"We cop a lot of flack from customers over the price rises.
"I feel as though the customers, the business and the staff here are victimised a bit...we are just doing our jobs, and there are plenty of other addictions that don't get as much attention or taxed as heavily - such as fast food places.
SMOKE CLOUDS IN CQ
(Sourced from the National Health Performance Association report, October 2013)
- Central Queensland is among the highest ranked regions in the nation for smoking and tobacco use for adults
- 22% smoke on a daily basis
2.8 million Australians smoke daily