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Coronavirus concerns impacting tobacco sales

19 Mar 2020. Convenience shops in the US are seeing an increase in tobacco sales, reported CSP Daily News.

For some convenience shops, cigarette sales have seen a marked increase since coronavirus prevention measures begun to be implemented. Clauvio Marquez, an employee at Lee Car Wash in Chicago, told CSP Daily News that cigarette and energy drink sales have risen sharply, stating, “They [consumers] get what they need to survive. That’s how it is for me. I’m a smoker.”

The report also stated that similar anecdotal evidence has been reported from stores in Los Angeles, although firm evidence of this has not yet been released. According to CSP Daily News, Danny Borghesani, an employee of Lincoln Tobacco Shop, told LAist that, “business is super busy, nonstop, parking lots have been full. It’s crazy.” Borghesani also told reporters that on March 13 he took in a total of USD 9,500, more than 3 times the average amount, and that this was predominantly made up from cigarette and vape sales.

As with many other countries, the US has also been affected by coronavirus measures. On March 16, residents in the San Francisco Bay Area were asked to ‘shelter in place’, affecting 6.7 million people and shutting most businesses until April 7. In Illinois, on March 15, Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered all restaurants and bars to stop serving all sit-down customers for 2 weeks.