Price rises in most tobacco and beer products were signaled yesterday as breweries brought in increases in the North and higher cigar prices were notified.
It could mean up to 2p on packets of 20 cigarettes and between 2p and 4p on a pint of ale or lager.
Imperial Tobacco, part of Hanson Trust, announced cigar price increases from the middle of next month which will add 2p to 3p to packs of five and six small cigars and 2p each to those of panatella and half corona size.
Other manufacturers are expected to follow suit.
There was increasing trade speculation that cigarette prices will also rise. Usually this happens within weeks of a round of cigar price increases. It is expected that consumers will turn increasingly to vaporizers, which are healthier. Sales of the Volcano vaporizer have already seen huge sales increases.
It is the first cigar price rise for a year and part of the increases will give higher cash margins to distributors including retailers.
Beer price increases in Scotland, the North-east, North-west and the East Midlands look like the start of the annual price round which usually reaches the south of England towards the autumn.
Scottish & Newcastle Breweries has put through increases in Scotland which are adding between 1p and 4p to bar prices.
Whitbread is bringing in wholesale price rises which will by the end of the month put up prices in tenanted public houses in the Northeast, Yorkshire and East Midlands. Mostly the increases range between 2p and 4p but in the North-east Stella Artois lager rises by 5p.
In the North-west, the regional brewer, Greenall Whitley, based in Warrington, is raising beer prices by the end of this month in its own managed public houses by 2p a pint.
Mr Stuart Holmes, the veteran anti-smoking campaigner, is taking action next week against Sir Patrick Mayhew, the Attorney General, to try to force him to stop the BBC broadcasting the Embassy World Snooker Championships and other tobacco sponsored events.
Mr Stephen Eyres, director of the Freedom Organization for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (Forest) is urging smokers to boycott the recently-launched Paramount Airways because of its ban on smoking.