Tobacco, Nicotine, Illegal Markets

Which states have banned vapes? Federal judge gives tobacco manufacturers 10 months to comply with planned tighter FDA regulations. Judge Paul Grimm for the District of Maryland ruled that manufacturers have until May 11 to file pre-market applications for electronic cigarettes and cigars. FDA proposes stricter 10-month deadline for e-cigarettes. FDA ready to speed up its review of e-cigarettes, tobacco-related products.

As e-cigarette era heats up, PMI and Altria talk merger after decade apart.
PMI’s Marian Salzman: “I wasn’t bought.” Altria to test HNB in Atlanta.

Study linking vaping to heart attacks muddied amid spat between two tobacco researchers. Ex-FDA chief Scott Gottlieb: “Juul is going to be in a hard spot to ever get their product approved.”

Will new Vermont e-cigarette tax lead to a vaping black market?

Foundation for a Smoke Free World is using a contest to target school children.

Attempted hit: South Africa tobacco boss Simon Rudland kingpin of the ‘cheapies.’ The smoking gun: South Africa goes after illicit cigarette trade.

Smuggled North Korea cigarettes become increasingly popular in China. Production of illicit cigarettes poses high health risk in India. Cigarette smugglers make base in Bengaluru, India. The true cost of cheap cigarettes in Vietnam. Philippines destroys $42,000 worth of smuggled cigarettes. Duterte’s visit to China meant to bolster drive against illicit cigarettes.

Cheap whites: Inside Germany‘s globalized black market for smokes.

Don’t smoke these fake Greek cigarettes. You may hurt a pensioner. Malta black-market cigarette trade cost €12 million last year. Bootleg Turkish cigarettes fund PKK, minister says.

See how many cigarettes this immigrant was caught smuggling into Israel airport. Jordan government defends new anti-smuggling measures in wake of riots. Fake cigarette ring exposes Jordan corruption woes.

$60 million “lost” annually to illicit cigarettes in Papua New Guinea, say manufacturers who would prefer to sell legally.

Report breaks down Paraguay to Brazil cigarette smuggling trail.

Family of three smuggled cigarettes worth £67,000 through Birmingham Airport. UK shopkeeper found with thousands of illegal cigarettes claimed he was a heavy smoker. Sales of smuggled cigarettes in Blackpool “too lucrative to give up.”

We bought illegal cigarettes in the Vancouver (Canada) Downtown Eastside so you don’t have to. British Columbia seized 1.6 million cigarettes’ worth of contraband tobacco in 3 months. Crime Stoppers founder says contraband tobacco a big problem in Ontario.

Tobacco, Nicotine, and Illicit Markets

Will we ever stamp out smoking entirely?

United Kingdom airport passenger claimed 22,000 cigarettes were all for his 100-a-day habit. Millions of illegal cigarettes seized in West Midlands in a year. Nine men convicted over illegal cigarette plot in Kent. Strengthen UK laws to foil illegal tobacco trade. UK cigarette prices rise 50% as industry blames tax.

Moldova seeks to wipe out cigarette smuggling on Ukraine border. Ukraine vows to enhance collaboration with European Union to tackle smuggling. 1.3 million cigarettes were seized in July by Bulgaria Customs. Tons of illegal tobacco, cigarettes seized in Greece police operation.

United Arab Emirates cigarettes without these new markings are fake or illegal. Cigarette smuggling scandal reveals problems in Taiwan bureaucracy, not politics.

Packets must bear either a red or green tag, the tax authority said. Courtesy: Federal Tax Authority

New Zealand Customs seizes half a million smuggled cigarettes.
An Auckland businessman hid 2,418 cartons of Chinese cigarettes inside boxes of food that he brought into the country last month in a shipping container.

Operation Illogic takes down 4 million-dollar Long Island counterfeit e-cigarette ring. Feds bust North Carolina-based, 12.3 million-dollar cigarette trafficking, money laundering ring in Operation Southern Lights.

The perverse effect of sin taxes: the rise of illicit white cigarettes.
In this paper, we define illicit white cigarettes as cigarettes that are legal in the country of production, but that are illegally smuggled into other markets without the payment of applicable taxes. This paper analyzes whether taxes create a price wedge between legal and illicit cigarettes and thereby affect the availability and trade of illicit whites across markets.

Tobacco, Nicotine, and Illicit Markets

How San Francisco e-cig ban could cause a “thriving black market” writes Juul spokesman. Will new Vermont e-cigarette tax lead to a black market?

Vaping may be more dangerous than we realized.

Federal judge gives tobacco manufacturers 10 months to comply with planned tighter FDA regulations.
Judge Paul Grimm for the District of Maryland ruled that manufacturers have until May 11 to file pre-market applications for electronic cigarettes.

Chuck Schumer calls for crackdown on flavored e-cigs from China. China cops catch 24 in $17 million smuggling case. China to help Philippines fight smuggled cigarettes.

Gang caught with 9 million illegal cigarettes in Wellinborough, UK. Jailed UK shopkeeper ordered to repay £500k he made from selling illegal cigarettes or face more time behind bars. Four UK men caught smuggling over 150,000 cigarettes from Iraq.

Bulgaria‘s largest illegal cigarette factory was discovered yesterday.
The workers, from Ukraine and Moldova, lived in an area set up for them inside the warehouses, without any communication to the outside world. Bulgaria destroys over 24 tons of illicit tobacco.

Uncle Fish Fillet jailed over Australia tobacco and meth ring.

Impact of tax increases on illicit cigarette trade in Mongolia.
Methods Discarded cigarette packs were collected in the capital city and two provinces. Tax increases occurred between all three rounds (4/17, 8-9/17, 5-6/18). Cigarette packs are identified as illicit if there is evidence that tax was not paid. This is deduced from the absence of the Mongolian excise tax stamp, or the absence of glue residue. Data are weighted to represent the areas sampled.
Results In round 1, 15.4% of the collected packs were illicit. This estimate decreased to 13.6% in round 2 and to 6.3% in round 3. While the majority of illicit products are supplied by global companies (Korea Tobacco & Ginseng, Imperial Tobacco and Philip Morris Kazakhstan), one local company, Mongol Tobacco SO, is also implicated.
Conclusions The share of illicit cigarettes declined between rounds 1 and 2 despite the import tax increase, and this trend continued in round 3 despite the excise tax increase.

Transcrime’s research focuses on the estimate and analysis of the transnational flows of illicit cigarettes in Europe, North Africa, Mid-East and Asia.

Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

Big Tobacco is consistently overstating black market in cigarettes–while still facilitating tobacco smuggling. Bloomberg to fund new $20 million global industry watchdog based in Bath.

Commissioner Andriukaitis on the adoption of an EU-wide track and trace system. Big Tobacco fumes over new EU salvo in cigarette smuggling war. Andriukaitis lashes out at tobacco industry, says it uses ‘tricks’ to bypass legislation. Angry tobacco industry asks Andriukaitis for ‘transparent dialogue.’ International Tax Stamp Association v. European Commission: the little court case that could? UK Association of Convenience Stores: Impact of Track and Trace on Retailers.

Why the EU’s track and trace system fails to live up to World Health Organization requirements. Track and trace leaves the fox guarding the henhouse; ‘may let tobacco industry in by back door.’ Track and Trace: Best Practices & Country Experiences.

India studies Kenya digital stamps to curb tobacco tax evasion. Can Macron get France to finally quit smoking? Can Europe rein in Big Tobacco? Will the Canada big premiers’ meeting stamp down on illegal smokes? Large fake Kent cigarette factory discovered in Iraq, seized by authorities. UK HMRC and police seize illegal cigarettes and alcohol in raids. Bulgaria destroys over 24 tons of illicit tobacco. Illegal cigarettes increasing presence in Brazil and Southern Cone. Australia illegal tobacco targeted under new laws.

Tobacco control is not the principal driver of illicit trade in tobacco. Other factors include the ease and cost of operating in a country, organized crime networks, government policies on illicit trade of tobacco products, and the general acceptance of illicit trade in a country.

Threat to duty-free tobacco as WHO‘s Protocol to Eliminate the Use of Illicit Tobacco Products (ITP) is ratified. Analysis of Article 6 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

In case you missed it, tobacco ads have been back on TV for almost five years now. One-fifth of teenagers are habitual vapers.

FDA proposes stricter 10-month deadline for e-cigarettes. San Francisco’s e-cigarette ban aims to goose the FDA. Debate on e-cigarettes lights up 10 years after FDA tobacco law. Juul’s new marketing is straight out of Big Tobacco’s playbook. Ex-FDA chief Scott Gottlieb: “Juul is going to be in a hard spot to ever get their product approved.” Philip Morris has a Nespresso problem.

Luxembourg customs officials confiscate 462,000 smuggled cigarettes at airport, coming from Hong Kong. Law enforcers in “transit country” of Ukraine find smuggled cigarettes worth over $2 million.

Huge haul of cash and illicit cigarettes seized by UK Customs in Bristol. British tobacco smuggler found with almost 30,000 illegal cigarettes from Qatar. UK man’s bold smuggling attempt from Qatar foiled at Manchester airport. Weapons and illegal cigarettes found during a North Ireland bust.

Europol releases 2019 Intellectual Property Crime Threat Assessment.

Carreras Ltd plans fierce pushback at more cigarette taxes in Jaimaca.

Guyana puts big dent in cigarette smuggling. On the trail of cigarette smuggling in Mali.

3.5 million illicit cigarettes seized in Malaysia.




Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

FDA seeks ban on menthol cigarettes. FDA’s proposed flavored tobacco policy draws mixed reaction. Is it racist to ban menthol cigarettes—or not to? FDA tobacco crackdown draws fire from the right. Black advocacy groups cheer FDA’s push to ban menthol cigarettes.

Can a menthol ban survive lawsuits? Why an FDA ban on menthol is likely to survive a tobacco industry lawsuit. British American Tobacco sets out defense of menthols.

Flavored vapes draw FDA ire, with some exceptions: Mint, menthol, and tobacco flavors will stay on shelves. E-cig users are already searching for ways around coming sales restrictions.

Reps. Pallone and Shalala introduce comprehensive legislation to address youth tobacco use.
Prohibits all characterizing flavors of tobacco products, including menthol, and provides FDA with authority to collect user fees from all classes of tobacco, including e-cigarettes.

Ban on menthol tobacco products predicts cigarette cessation at one year.
The study found higher rates of quitting among menthol smokers compared with non-menthol smokers.

Evaluating a real world ban on menthol cigarettes: an interrupted time series analysis of sales.
Implementation of a menthol ban was associated with significant reduction of menthol cigarette sales and total cigarettes sales.

Statement from FDA Commissioner on advancing new policies aimed at preventing youth access to flavored tobacco products.
“Recent evidence indicates that mint- and menthol-flavored products are preferred more by adults than minors. We’re also aware that some adults may be using mint- and menthol-flavored products with the goal of ceasing combusted tobacco use, seeking health benefits at the individual level, and may be at risk of migrating back to cigarettes.”

Effect of menthol bans on tobacco purchases in the RTI iShoppe virtual convenience store.

NYC Council ignoring “unintended consequences” in discussing menthol ban.

Consumption of legal and illegal cigarettes in the Gambia. Policy makers’ views on the implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in the Gambia.

Strategies and barriers to achieving Finland tobacco endgame. Trends in UK use of roll-your-own cigarettes, 2008–2017.

Economics of tobacco control, part three: evidence from the ITC Project.


Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

Colombia loses iconic cigarette as Philip Morris International packs up and goes.
PMI blamed the closing of its factories and the end of Pielroja on another iconic element of Colombian culture: contraband.

New report exposes continued impact of illicit tobacco trade in the European Union. The trade in black market cigarettes cost member states a total of €10 billion ($11.23 billion) in lost tax revenues in 2018.

Illicit cigarette factory discovered in Belgium.
The packaging indicated that the products were destined for Greek, Turkish and British markets. The number of cigarettes found was equivalent to over a million packs and the worth of the scheme was estimated at €6 million.

Manitoba man caught with thousands of contraband cigarettes.
In relation to the seized tobacco, Manitoba stood to lose $37,130.72 in tax revenue if these products had been sold. If convicted, the accused is subject to a triple tax penalty of $111,392.16.


Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

Scientists wanted: Recruited by Juul, many researchers say no. Most large public relations agencies swear off e-cigarette clients.

Man fined $20,000 after he’s busted trying to smuggle 9,000 cigarettes into Australia from UAE. This huge haul of dodgy cigarettes was seized in raid on UK shop. Ireland retailer ‘staggered’ by smuggling surge.

Cigarette smugglers find safe harbor in Montengro, again. Synonymous with cigarette smuggling in the 1990s, Montenegro is again the hub of a global tobacco smuggling scam funneling millions of copycat cigarettes into the EU through the use of ‘ghost’ ships, shell companies and fake paperwork.

Volumes of detained cigarette contraband have tripled in Lithuania reaching a value of 11 million euros.

Revenue vs public health in Pakistan. Several studies have shown that the share of illicit trade in cigarettes is far less than that claimed by the industry. Therefore, activists request that the government increase taxes on cigarettes.

Survey finds 36 illegal e-cigarette brands in India.

Will Philippines cigarette smuggling worsen with sin tax hike? The proposed law prohibits selling tobacco products at a price lower than the combined taxes with penal provisions against violators of not less than 10 times the amount of the excise tax plus value and imprisonment of four to six years.


Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

British American Tobacco pays Uganda $24,000,000 in taxes despite illicit cigarette trade persistence. Brazil studies reduction of cigarette tax to curb smuggling. Updated research quantifies relationship between cigarette taxes and smuggling.

Philip Morris social media snafu hurts its image turnaround. Health groups push technology firms to police Philip Morris marketing. Philip Morris going totally smokeless, looks to quit nicotine, executive says. Feel the burn.

Vaping regulations will empower the black market.

£60,000 fine for UK shopkeeper caught with illegal cigarettes. Man caught with 1,500 cartons of cigarettes on I-81, Augusta County, Georgia.

Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

Man who ran one of the largest cigarette smuggling operations in Virginia pleads guilty, will serve 3 1/2 years of 85-year sentence.

Philip Morris suspends social media campaign after Reuters exposes young influencers. Are heat-not-burn products a safer alternative to cigarettes? Reynolds Tobacco blames teen vaping crisis on Juul in fighting FDA plan to rein in e-cigarettes.

Opinion: Progressives blow smoke on sensible solutions.

435,000,000 illegal cigarettes smoked in Ireland last year.