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The Illicit Cigarette Trade

Multimedia, 4 July 2017
Illicit Trade, Terrorism and Conflict
RUSI Research Fellow Cathy Haenlein introduces on BBC World a new report by KPMG commissioned by RUSI investigates the scale of the illicit cigarette trade in the EU, Norway and Switzerland.

This study reveals that over 9% of all cigarettes consumed in Europe in 2016 were illegal. Amounting to 48 billion cigarettes, these represent more than the total volume purchased legally in France, costing governments as much as €10.2 billion in lost tax revenues.

Despite the sustained threat, the report also shows that efforts by law enforcement contributed to an overall decline in the consumption of illegal cigarettes in Europe, from 9.8% of total consumption in 2015 to 9.1% in 2016. Additionally, ‘positive macroeconomic factors and a stable pricing environment' have contributed to reducing demand for illicit products.

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