Cigarette Makers Raise Prices 18 Cents Per Pack
U.S. tobacco companies launched an industry-wide 18 cent per pack cigarette price hike Monday in a move that analysts said would cover additional settlement costs and pad their profits.
The 11.2 percent increase is expected to take effect immediately. The hike follows a 45 cents per pack increase last November -- the largest one-time U.S. price hike ever -- used to help pay for the multibillion-dollar tobacco litigation settlement struck with states last November.
A spokesman for Philip Morris Cos. Inc., the maker Marlboro and Merit cigarettes, confirmed the price increase Monday, which analysts said amounted 18 cents per pack in wholesale prices. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. (NYSE:RJR - news), the nation's No. 2 tobacco company, said it will do the same.
``We notified companies that our list price increases $1.80 per carton, which amounts to 18 cents per pack,'' Reynolds spokeswoman Jan Smith said. She would not comment further.