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EUROPE

Tobacco shops stay open

17 Mar 2020. In Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland tobacco kiosks remain open along with other essential shops such as grocery stores and pharmacies, while the rest is closed to contain the spread of coronavirus, Bloomberg reported.

According to the report, continued access to cigarettes and e-cigarettes will prevent withdrawals or anxiety attacks while smokers are forced to stay home. However, the WHO has said it is possible they may have an increased risk of more severe reactions to Covid-19, just as smoking makes people more susceptible to respiratory diseases.

Along with toilet paper, food and soap, tobacco is also being stockpiled. “People have been buying cartons and cartons of cigarettes in the last few days,” Sascha Kuenzler, a kiosk shop owner in downtown Zurich, was quoted as saing. “Many of them have also switched to loose tobacco so they can roll their own.”

Over the past month, Philip Morris International Inc. and British American Tobacco Plc have both fallen about 21 per cent, while the Euro Stoxx 50 is down 36 per cent and the S&P 500 declined 29 per cent, the report said.