Retailers can increase their profits by £250 a year for every cigarette smoker that they switch to cigars.

That was the advice from Jens Christiansen, STG head of marketing and public affairs, who said that more than half of retailers communicate with their customers about tobacco products, but less than 2% of their consumers feel influenced by retailers’ advice.

Research by the company showed that it would usually take an average cigarette smoker five or six times of trying cigars before switching.

“This is an opportunity for retailers to improve on the conversation that they are having with their customers. Fifty-one per cent are offering advice, but perhaps about the wrong things,” he added.

STG also unveiled a new retailer initiative called ‘Lock, stock and sell’. The campaign includes PoS for convenience retailers and will help retailers offer their shoppers advice.

“It’s important that independent retailers do not neglect cigars that sell less in volume. For example, HW Half Corona may sell less in volume, but it is worth as much as Café Crème,” said Christiansen.