Jan 6th, 2013 by Editor.

1. Luk Joossens1,

2. Alessandra Lugo2,

3. Carlo La Vecchia2,3,

4. Anna B Gilmore4,

5. Luke Clancy5,

6. Silvano Gallus2

Author Affiliations

1. 1Association of European Cancer Leagues, Foundation against Cancer, Brussels, Belgium

2. 2Department of Epidemiology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy

3. 3Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Universit degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy

4. 4Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK

5. 5TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland, Dublin, Ireland

1. Correspondence to Luk Joossens, Foundation against Cancer, Chauss e de Louvain 479, Brussels B 1030, Belgium LJoossens

Received 18 June 2012

Accepted 10 October 2012

Published Online First 10 December 2012


Objective Little evidence, other than that commissioned by the tobacco industry, exists on the size of the illicit tobacco trade. This study addresses this gap by examining the level and nature of illicit cigarettes and hand rolled tobacco in 18 European countries.

Design Face to face cross sectional survey on smoking.

Setting 18 European countries.

Participants For each country, around 1000 subjects representative of the population aged 15 and over were enrolled. Current cigarette smokers were asked to show their latest purchased pack of cigarettes or hand rolled tobacco.

Main outcome measure A comprehensive measure called an Identification of an Illicit Pack (IIP) was used to study the extent of illicit trade, defining a pack as illicit if it had at least one of the following tax evasion indicators (1) it was bought from illicit sources, as reported by smokers, (2) it had an inappropriate tax stamp, (3) it had an inappropriate health warning or (4) its price was substantially below the known price in their market.

Results Overall, the proportion of illicit packs was 6.5%. The highest prevalence of IIP was observed in Latvia (37.8%). Illicit packs were more frequent among less educated smokers and among those living in a country which shared a land or sea border with Ukraine, Russia, Moldova or Belarus. No significant association was found with price of cigarettes.

Conclusions This study indicates that IIP is less than 7% in Europe and suggests that the supply of illicit tobacco, rather than its price, is a key factor contributing to tax evasion

Posted in Cigarette Smuggling, Study.

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Even though the name brand may be the same, the recipes are different in different countries.

The main thing to consider is the import fees and taxes. Yes, overseas cigs are cheaper but they do not include the federal or state taxes. The federal tax on pre made cigarettes is $1.01 per pack. That’s $10 a carton. I don’t know what the import fees are or the limit of how much you can have shipped here (there is a limit).

Then you have the state taxes which are usually much more expensive than the federal taxes. The average state tax is about $1.34 per pack (about $13.40 per carton).

You may also have a local or city tax. As you can see, the government earns more on tobacco than the growers, manufacturers, distributors, or retailers combined.

The really sneaky thing is that the government can catch you years later and then add late fees and penalties too. You may want to read this person’s question and all of the answers she received about the subject of cigarette taxes on on line sales.

If you buy them in the US, they will have the FSC unless you buy them from particular Indian reservations.

Another option is to look into rolling your own filtered cigarettes. The filtered tubes for making your own do not have to be FSC and if you use a premium tobacco, it will taste even better than your favorite brand. Cigarettes make with an injector look exactly the same as pre made ones but they usually have less chemicals and can cost only $1 to $1.50 a pack. It only takes me 5 minutes to roll a pack. It’s easy. If you’re curious, this is the very best forum on the ‘net for learning the hobby of making your own cigarettes. There are reviews on tobaccos, tubes, machines and retailers.