By some estimates, cigarette sales witnessed a 75 to 95 percent fall in the immediate aftermath of demonetisation. The Times of Indiaspoke to Kishan Kumar, a paan shop owner in Dehradun, who said that he did not sell a single cigarette in the first four days after demonetisation.
"Gradually , sales picked up but it is still nowhere close to what it was before November 8. My estimate is that sale of cigarettes has gone down by at least 40%," he said.
Any pick up in sales, at least for the time being, is not likely to offset the slump. Despite the demand, paan shop owners said that it wasn't possible to give cigarettes to their customers on credit because the manufacturers did not sell on credit either.
While cash transactions have taken a dip, sale of cigarettes at retail chains accepting credit and debit cards have increased by 100 to 400 per cent. But these sales confined to some urban pockets.
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