Resources Dirty Money

Keeping Tobacco (Companies) Off the Black Market

January 22, 2020

The tobacco industry has a documented history of smuggling. Researchers have estimated that a third of cigarette exports ended up on the tobacco black market in the late 1990s. Overwhelming evidence implicated all four major tobacco companies—British American Tobacco, Philip Morris International, Japan Tobacco International and Imperial—suggesting that they were not just complicit, but that smuggling was part of their business strategy.

This brief highlights how track and trace systems are under threat from the tobacco industry and what can be done to keep tobacco off the black market.