How Much Do Cigarettes Cost in the UK?

Sadly, I haven’t quit smoking yet. I will be in England in April so I’m wondering how much a pack of cigarettes costs there. I’d like to know if the price varies much depending on what part of the country you are; e.g. how much in London? How much in “the sticks”?

And although I might not get there, I wouldn’t mind knowing the approximate prices in Wales and Scotland, too.

Oh! Any pricing info for Ireland wouldn’t hurt either (yes, I know that Ireland is not part of the UK! :p)



(cough, cough, cough)

I don’t smoke so I cant answer definitively. But this site shows typical pricing at the well known Tesco supermarket. It would be extremely unlikely for pricing to be different between cities and country stores. The only places you might pay a little more would be motorway service stations but they charge more for everything.

As you’ll see from Mavic’s link, cigarettes are prohibitively expensive in the UK and most of that expense is made up of duty set by central government. This means there’s not much difference in price for any particular brand around the country. Your best bet, if you’re coming into the UK internationally, is to pick up supplies in duty free on the way in if possible.

ETA: it looks like you can bring a maximum of 200 cigarettes into the country without declaring and paying the duty.


Are there really close-up medical photos printed on the packs? Is that a standard thing? Mandated by the government, I assume?

I don’t smoke but these days cigarettes are kept locked away in a closed cabinet behind a counter and wrapped in generic-looking packaging to prevent them from looking even remotely tempting. I don’t think they’re doing the diseased lung picture thing but certainly you get a giant “Smoking Kills” sticker.

Cigarettes are on the decline anyway, with vaping taking off in a big way amongst former (and some current) cigarette smokers.

It’s the case in a lot of countries, now.

I’m a bit surprised by something else : some of the packs look pretty much exactly like the “anonymous” packs now sold in France (all blacks, the only distinctive feature being the name of the brand in rather small and standardized characters). Australia has the same rule, if I’m not mistaken, but I was unaware of it being implemented in the UK. Moreover, some packs look like regular packs, with colour schemes and such.

It’s only just come into force, so packs do, indeed, look standardised, with gross and upsetting pictures on them. The packs are also a sort of sludgy baby poo brown, presumably to be as unappealing as possible.

They are also not on display, but are kept behind the counter, behind a sliding door, so you have to ask to see them.

And they cost roughly £10 per pack (c.$12). Large supermarket chains are usually the cheapest place to buy them and costs don’t vary across the country.

Duty Free Cigarettes are the one thing it really is worth buying at the airport before you get here.

It’s just crossed my mind that I haven’t seen a packet of cigarettes for months. I don’t know many people who smoke, and you can’t see the packets in shops any more.

You want to buy cigarettes in the UK? There is a procedure.

Walk into any supermarket and find the Customer Services counter. Wait until there is no one around to overhear and, after attracting the attention of the dragon lady on the other side, lean across and whisper “I need a fag.” She will pretend to look horrified and may even call security, but your American passport will save you (So long as you don’t look too orange).

Eventually you will be directed to the queue of shabby and downtrodden folk waiting to hand over two hour’s wages for twenty cigarettes packed in a plain wrapper so no one will know about your secret vice.

Once you have them, go outside and look for a furtive group huddled around a waste bin somewhere in the corner of the car park. That is the only place you will be allowed to actually light up without being pounced on by a harridan in a high viz vest, demanding money under threat of immediate deportation.

Oh! bye the way. Welcome to Great Britain :slight_smile:

Dang, ciggies ARE expensive in the UK! I am glad I quit! (For many reasons, but I have saved thousands of dollars in the past 14 years. That is not a minor consideration.)

To answer the Ireland aspect of the original question, cigarettes are 11 euros a pack here, or about 12 dollars.

Or “ginger”, as they say in British.

I think vaping is also on the decline now. I was in my local shopping centre yesterday and saw that two “vape” shops had closed. There are still a couple, but they didn’t look busy.

I have to admit that the number of people I see smoking cigarettes out and about has gone way down since vaping took off. Whether it will rebound if vaping goes out of fashion remains to be seen.

FWIW I have no idea what the economics of vaping are compared to purchasing cigarettes.

Vaping is much less expensive than smoking.

In England the NHS (National Health Service) prescribes ecigs and gives them away free to people who want to cut down or stop smoking. They consider ecigs to be at least 95% safer than cigarettes.

In the USA vaping is still much cheaper than cigarettes but it is not legally permitted by the FDA to suggest they be used to stop smoking. That said, my experience is that most people who give ecigs a serious enough try to get beyond the convenience store models that look similar to a cigarette and get a refillable model with a bigger battery can stop smoking without discomfort and continue to use ecigs for considerably less than half the price of smoking.

After the initial purchase of a device, the biggest expense involved with using ecigs is the eliquid. By mixing your own DIY eliquid the cost can be drastically reduced – my own cost of vaping is under 50 cents per day – and that is replacing smoking two to three packs of cigarettes per day for over 40 years. I didn’t intend to quit smoking; I started ecigs as a replacement for the times and places smoking wasn’t permitted, and one day just didn’t buy any more cigarettes. Mine is a common story.

Apparently cigarettes are $13.00 Canadian a pack now. They’re also behind the counter, in a cupboard out of sight. The packets have the gruesome medical pictures on them, but I’m not sure if they’ve gone to completely plain, standardized packaging yet.

I do NOT miss the feeling when you’re getting low and you have to go buy cigarettes. I hated myself every time, and hated spending that much money.

I don’t miss feeling ashamed when I smoked in public, either.

Sometimes societal pressure is a good thing.

Is this the case now? This link says not -

I think it’s not so much that it’s on the decline as that there was a glut of such shops; for a while it seemed as if anybody who wanted to “sell something” went and opened yet another vaping shop.

Wouldn’t being an American make that phrase more suspicious?

Your link is undated. Here is one from January 2016:
British American Tobacco e-cigarette wins UK medicine licence

I am not in the UK and have no personal experience with the NHS.