12 Apr 2017

Concerns of cigarette price gouging in American Samoa

5:21 pm on 12 April 2017

There are reports of price gouging in American Samoa with the price of a packet of cigarettes jumping to $US15 in recent weeks.

The cost of a packet of cigarettes is currently about $20.

The cost of a packet of cigarettes is currently about $20. Photo: 123RF

Last year the price rose to $US8 after a rise in excise tax.

Four weeks ago the price jumped further after reports of a cigarette shortage.

The high prices have prompted smokers to complain to lawmakers who have raised questions about the law around price gouging.

The Attorney-General, Talauega Eleasalo, told lawmakers businesses are prohibited from increasing prices by ten percent or more only when the governor declares a state of emergency.

He says American Samoa operates under a free market system but advised people who've seen sudden rises due to a shortage to provide details so the Consumer Protection Bureau could investigate.

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