Contraband cigarettes are smuggled into a country without payment of applicable taxes and duties. We oppose contraband in all its forms, and we have taken a leading role in fighting to eliminate the trade in contraband cigarettes.
Everyone loses from the trade in contraband cigarettes:
- Governments lose billions of dollars in tax revenues.
- Retailers lose jobs and business to the criminal gangs who sell cigarettes on the streets.
- Brand owners lose sales and suffer irreparable harm to their brands through counterfeiting.
- Consumers lose because they often end up buying fake products of poor quality that are not subject to any regulatory scrutiny by authorities or quality control procedures by manufacturers.
Our own efforts to combat contraband include:
- Monitoring legitimate retail demand for our brands in the markets where our cigarettes are sold and ensuring that supply is consistent with such demand.
- Extensive screening and monitoring of the people with whom we do business.
- Working with our business partners to promote anti-contraband practices.
- Using state of the art tracking and tracing technology to further our goal of having our products sold only where they are supposed to be sold.
- Assisting law enforcement agencies.
We are taking important, proactive steps to see the illegal trade in both genuine and fake cigarettes stamped out. But we cannot do it alone. Government commitment and effective law enforcement is critical to the success of any anti-contraband effort. We will continue to work with governments and other organizations that share our commitment in the fight against contraband. Ultimately, consumers are best placed to stamp out the illicit trade in cigarettes by not purchasing them.