nterestingly, what is available, and not the price, which seems to determine the level of illegal trade, research suggests the conclusion that directly contradicts the arguments offered by the tobacco industry say the authors. They base their conclusions on the basis of a representative sample of 1,000 people from each of the 18 European countries:Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, CzechRepublic, Croatia, England, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, SpainandSweden.
It is important to note that the definition of trafficking has found illegal trade, suggested the researchers, who work directly with the arguments proposed by the tobacco industry. They base their conclusions on the population
Only tobacco purchased from unauthorized sources or sold at very low prices from legitimate retailers was identified as having been illegally sold.
Among the 18,056 participants, some 5,268 (27% of the sample) identified themselves as smokers. The final analysis was based on the responses of 5114 when asked about the origin of their tobacco products, the majority of respondents said that they bought them from legal sources. Only 4% said they purchased tobacco illegally, amounting to 296 packages.
The only distinguishing feature of illegally selling products customers had their education: people with low more often buy them. Two-thirds (65.5%) of illegally selling the packages was a warning about a health problem, and half was an abuse of stamp duty, and just over one in four (27%) was bought at a knockdown price.
The prevalence of illegal industrial packages of 10 and 20 cigarettes was 5.9% and 11.7% for hand rolled tobacco, with the overall prevalence of illegal trade in products 6.5%. Commercial operation reports put the total figure below 10%. Hand rolling tobacco was twice as likely to have been illegally traded as manufactured cigarettes. Availability of illicit tobacco was four times higher in countries borderingUkraine,Russia,MoldovaandBelarus, than it was elsewhere.
Nearly four out of 10 tobacco (37.8%) acquired inLatviacame from illegal sources, and inSwedenthe comparable figure was almost one in five (19%),Bulgaria, finishing third in the standings to 18%.
At the other end of the scale, distribution of illicit trade of 1% or less inGreece,AustriaandPortugal. Frequency of trafficking was also higher in those countries where a 20 stick cigarette-store.biz/online/marlboro than the average, and no more. Obtaining reliable data on tobacco smuggling is difficult precisely because this type of activity does not seek to be recorded, say the authors, who acknowledge that their methods are not full proof either.
But to date, analysts have relied on reports commissioned by the tobacco, which are unlikely to be neutral, they said.
“The tobacco industry claims that high taxes on cigarettes smuggling drive, and argued that governments, sometimes successfully, that they should not increase the tax on tobacco products, because it increases the level of trade,” they wrote. But they conclude: “This study shows that the supply of illicit tobacco products, not its price, is a key factor contributing to it.”