A newsagent says he will have to resort to selling vegetables and flowers to make up for the decline in cigarette sales.
Public health minister Jane Ellison announced last week the Government would press forward with plans for plain packaging in England.
But retailers and politicians have warned the change could impact upon the livelihood of small traders.
Nick Shaw, who runs Piccadilly Stores, in Trinity Street, Halstead, said: “The way taxes are going up anyway, there will hardly anyone left smoking.
“I’m panicking a bit about what to sell instead - I am planning to try to sell vegetables and flowers but I need planning permission for a large greenhouse.”