PMI calls for sustained anti-illicit trade efforts and collaboration with law enforcement.
Despite the overall decline of illicit cigarette consumption, which continued for the seventh consecutive year, the consumption of counterfeit cigarettes continued to grow, reaching 7.6 billion, a 38.3 percent increase compared to 2018 and the highest level recorded to date.
“The continued decline of illicit tobacco trade in the EU is a positive development and reinforces the importance of supply chain control measures, strict enforcement, and collaboration in combating this issue,” said
Illicit trade undermines efforts to reduce smoking prevalence and makes unregulated tobacco products easily accessible. For PMI to deliver a smoke-free future and enable millions of people who would otherwise continue to smoke to switch to better alternatives to cigarettes, it’s essential to eliminate illicit tobacco trade wherever it exists.
Interviews with law enforcement conducted by
Other report findings reveal that:
- Counterfeit cigarettes represent 19.5 percent of total illicit cigarette consumption. Compared to 2018, the biggest increases in counterfeit consumption occurred in the
- Illicit whites continue to be a major element of illicit cigarette consumption, representing 35.6 percent of illicit consumption in the EU, or 13.8 billion cigarettes, up from 29.8 percent in 2018.
- For the first time since the research began in 2006, counterfeit cigarettes and illicit whites represent more than 50 percent of total illicit cigarette consumption in the EU.
- The countries with the largest volumes of illicit cigarette consumption in the EU were
- The highest shares of illicit cigarette consumption were found in
- Illicit flows from identifiable markets outside the EU, such as
PMI invests significantly in supply chain controls through preventive and protective measures, implements track-and-trace solutions worldwide in line with strict regulatory requirements, and applies comprehensive due diligence of customers and suppliers. The company supports regulations such as the FCTC Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products and the tracking and tracing provisions under the EU Tobacco Products Directive. Furthermore, PMI works with private and public actors alike to help advance the global anti-illicit trade efforts, including through PMI IMPACT, a global initiative supporting third-party projects against illegal trade and related crimes.
For more information about PMI’s illicit trade prevention efforts, visit StopIllegal.com.
About KPMG’s Report
A detailed overview of results and methodology is available here.
# # #
T. +41 (0)58 242 4500