Are Mauritians addicted to the point-of-no-return to intoxicants? The statistics that reveal the expenses of Mauritians on cigarettes and alcoholic drinks are shocking enough to make us wonder about the efficiency of sensitisation campaigns. On average, a household spends around Rs 500 per month on the above-mentioned products, according to Statistics Mauritius. Have Mauritians increased in their consumption of cigarettes and alcohol, or, is there another reason to explain this data?
Mauritians are spending quite a lot on tobacco products and alcoholic beverages. The authorities have cautioned the people to make use of these in moderation. Are Mauritians defying the rules?
On digging deeper to interpret the results of the survey of Statistics Mauritius, retailers were asked to give their version of the situation.
Retailers stated that the total number of the items sold have remained pretty much constant while the expenses of the people have increased. Nicolas Kan Wah, the manager of London Way, even said that the amount of cigarettes sold has decreased by around 1 to 5 %, depending on the regions. Others have noted a higher decrease in the sales: from 5 to 7 % was observed by a retailer operating in Trou-aux-Biches. Nicolas Kan Wah argued that people might be more health-conscious, explaining the decreases, and that the higher prices of the cigarettes might account for the increase in the percentage of expenses of the consumers.
As for the consumption of alcoholic drinks, Nicolas Kan Wah affirmed that the consumption has not increased either. However, the updated prices might have led to the increase in the money spent on the products. The management of Intermart, on the other hand, has noted a 6-7 % decrease in the sales of alcoholic drinks. Yet others have observed that the sale of whisky and rum has decreased by 5 to 7 %, while that of wine has increased by 10 %. Wine is known to contain less alcohol that its counterparts – perhaps, Mauritians prefer wine because of its low alcohol content?
Finally, it seems that Mauritians are not indulging that much in tobacco and alcohol.