Every time the government raises taxes on cigarettes, smokers are asked to cough up more for their sin. Some do it grudgingly; some struggle to kick the habit; while a substantial section switches to cheaper variants. But the kerbside retailer doesn’t ever complain. For him, consumption does not contract much nor do companies such as ITC Ltd drop retail margins to lighten the burden of the tax hike on consumers. The reason, says Sanjiv Puri, ITC’s chief operating officer, is that reducing trade margins will only lead to more proliferation in the sales of contraband, or tax-evaded cigarettes…READ MORE