The steps to take to crack down on illicit cigarettes
17 AUG 2023
A report from KPMG focusing on Europe's illicit cigarette consumption shows that counterfeit cigarette production and distribution, fueled by organized crime, is increasing within the European Union’s borders, with criminals targeting higher-taxed and higher-priced EU member states.
As revealed by the KPMG annual study, the illicit cigarette problem in the EU has become highly concentrated in a handful of countries, with France remaining the largest illicit market in the region, accounting for 47 percent of total illicit cigarette consumption in the EU. Notably, an estimated 8 billion illicit cigarettes consumed in France were counterfeit products.
The illicit trade issue persists and continues to adapt to societal shifts. Effective policymaking, fiscal calendars, deterrent penalties, and impactful enforcement are needed to decisively crack down on illicit trade, while at the same time governments should adopt differentiated policies on alternatives to cigarettes—and embrace innovative approaches to help effectively deter millions from continuing to smoke.
In this video, Gregoire Verdeaux, Senior Vice President, External Affairs, Philip Morris International, delves into the threat of fake cigarettes that are being manufactured, distributed, sold, and consumed in countries within the EU, and the need for novel approaches to deter millions from relying on the black market to continue smoking.