Retailers said they expect to pass the latest tobacco price hikes directly onto their customers when JTI increases its tobacco charges by up to 50p later this month.

“My regulars will notice it straight away,” said Narendra Singh Jadeja, owner of Coppermill Lane Londis in Waltham Forest. “Prices keep being slapped up and many are looking for ways out,” he said.

Others predicted the increase will cause customers to abandon brand loyalty in favour of the cheapest products.

“We sell two or three outers of B&H Blue a week, and an outer and a half of B&H Sovereign,” said Nishi Patel, from Bexley Park Londis. “We’re planning to delist five to 10 brands that don’t sell.”

More recent news: JTI expands direct sales scheme