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.

Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

Ashes to ashes: How British American Tobacco avoids taxes in low and middle income countries. New head of South African Revenue Service to investigate reports of $140 million in cigarette tax evasion.

Rome, New York police seize over 200 cartons of untaxed cigarettes. After a months-long investigation of the alleged possession, transportation and sale of unstamped cigarettes the Rome Police Department and state Department of Tax and Finance have arrested a local man.

Eight Chinese nationals denied entry to Australia after discovery of 177,000 undeclared cigarettes. Illegal cigs worth $160,000 seized in Malaysia.

Around sixteen percent of all cigarettes smoked in Islamabad, Pakistan are illicit. Tobacco companies play faulty with illegal smokes in Pakistan.

Castleford, UK booze store boss gives up license after 6,000 illicit cigarettes found in toilet.

Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

FDA authorizes Philip Morris to sell heat-not-burn cigarettes in the US. Philip Morris CEO: Smokeless “transformation” for the company is like no other. FDA authorizes smokeless IQOS cigarettes, restricts digital marketing to prevent youth exposure. IQOS exposure impairs human airway cell homeostasis: direct comparison with traditional cigarette and e-cigarette. FDA deals blow to IQOS. This should change everything: using the toxic profile of HNBs as a performance standard to phase out combustible cigarettes. Philip Morris shifts focus to heat-not-burn. Philip Morris rebuffed by World Health Organization as it tries to rewrite narrative. Philip Morris obtains a pan-EU injunction against an IQOS copycat from China. Philip Morris CEO lashes out at Hong Kong e-cigarette ban. Philip Morris CEO ridiculed for ‘staggeringly hypocritical’ campaign to ‘end smoking’—despite still selling cigarettes.

Big Tobacco is morphing into Big Vape. FDA chief accuses Juul, Altria of reneging on promise to combat teen vaping. A tale of two Juul pods: China‘s counterfeits pose a threat to US. Over 1,000 counterfeit Juul pods seized by border protection; there’s big profit in the fakes. Altria is paying a desperate price for Juul. Juul looks to Altria for more sway in DC. Altria-Juul deal worries anti-tobacco groups.

Strategies for eliminating smoked tobacco. Why tobacco product regulation is no magic bullet. UK tobacco companies are using e-cigs as a Trojan Horse, experts warn.

Analysis of tobacco industry pricing strategies in 23 European countries. Smoke Signals: Monitoring illicit cigarettes and smoking behavior in Colorado to support tobacco taxes. Decrease in the proportion of illicit cigarette use in Brazil: What does it really mean?