“The activities of the tobacco companies and tobacco products are regulated very strictly. We – a responsible company that operates on a highly professional level and respect the laws. And in some countries, we voluntarily adhere to standards that exceed the requirements of current legislation. ”
In 2012, total sales of illegal tobacco products in the world amounted to about 660 billion cigarettes. This volume of sales makes the informal sector the third largest player in the tobacco market. Illegal trade in tobacco products is carried out by well-organized criminal groups that have strong ties to terrorists.
Kingzli Wheaton also said: “These groups do not respect the laws and regulatory requirements, they do not pay taxes, they do not care what the ingredients used in the product, and are not interested in the age of the consumers to whom they sell cigarettes.”
“If we are unable to work legally, they will supply the market of illegal products. This may not be the result, which wants to society.”
Currently, in many countries, there is a splash of illegal cigarette sales, which is associated with the tightening of legislation to regulate the activities of the tobacco industry. Once legal products become too expensive for consumers of cigarettes, many of them moving to the contraband and counterfeit goods, the cost of which is significantly lower. This is an added incentive for criminals to expand their activities. Examples Mexico, Ireland, Canada, Turkey and other countries show that the illegal trade flourishes where there is reduced availability of the legal market, primarily due to an increase in cigarette prices for consumers and a lack of information about the product.
Johan Vandermyulen, Managing Director “BAT Russia”: “The Russian market is growing level of illegal trade in Smolensk and Bryansk regions – 8 times since 2011. Moreover, the geography of illegal sales expanding. If in 2011 it was mainly the area bordering the countries of the Customs Union, it is now possible to detect contraband cigarettes in Moscow, Siberia and the Urals. In our opinion this is direct evidence that criminal gangs are finding that the market is extremely interesting and would like to gain control over it. The lack of legal business will allow them to do so. Already, every 1% of the Russian tobacco market, leaving the “shadow” costs the state about 3.4 billion of unpaid taxes. ”
Without a legally operating tobacco company in the world, including in Russia and disappear:
- Responsible marketing of tobacco products. marketing of our products is only directed at adult smokers who are aware of the health risks associated with the consumption of tobacco products. Criminal groups are not interested in limiting the age of smokers. On the contrary, they are now actively selling cigarettes near schools and playgrounds, involving adolescents in tobacco consumption. Illegal cigarettes are sold at lower prices, making them accessible to children.
- The participation of the tobacco industry in the fight against illegal tobacco products, and criminal gangs. We work closely with governments and regulatory authorities to combat illegal tobacco products. According to Europol, Interpol and the FBI, many criminals engaged in the sale of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes, are also involved in money laundering, drug and human trafficking, and often finance terrorist organizations.
- Product quality and safety. We are very concerned that illegal cigarettes found dead insects and animal waste digestion. We pay great attention to security throughout the supply chain, from the tobacco seeds that are planted in the ground, up to the finished products within the store shelves.
- Tobacco companies provide budget revenues of about $ 200 billion a year worldwide. If the tobacco companies cease to exist, governments immediately lose that income. In Russia the tobacco industry brings in a budget of about 235 billion rubles a year only due to the payment of excise duty and VAT.
- Many people lose their jobs and will be deprived of income. With the disappearance of the legal tobacco business in Russia, for example, will lose tens of thousands of people, not only employees of these companies but also their partners, retailers, distributors, and many other organizations.