It’s time to consider novel policies and raise awareness to tackle illicit trade
18 OCT 2023
The 2022 KPMG report on illicit cigarette consumption in the European Union demonstrates the challenges we all face in tackling the black market. The annual study has revealed that 35.8 billion cigarettes originate from illicit trade, amounting to an estimated €11.3 billion in missed tax revenues—a significant financial drain on hard-pressed economies.
It is increasingly evident that we need a two-fold approach to put an end to cigarette consumption. We must persist with a robust and focused attack on the illicit cigarette trade, supporting efforts by law enforcement agencies, while at the same time advocating for accurate and appropriate information about, and access to, novel and less harmful alternatives to continued smoking.
Aggressive fiscal policies, prohibitionist approaches, and a lack of deterrence are only benefitting criminals and pushing adult smokers toward the black market. In this context, it's incumbent upon governments to educate citizens and adapt their policies to reflect current realities.
Here, Massimo Andolina, President, Europe Region, Philip Morris International, reveals the impact of the illicit cigarette trade in the EU and beyond, and the strategies to combat it.