Tobacco: Smuggling statistics are a smoking gun

07 Apr 2021 - Alcohol & Tobacco

Illegal tobacco consumption has skyrocketed in the past few years. One in five cigarettes consumed in Australia is now illegal – the highest level ever recorded, according to analysts KPMG. Australia’s illegal tobacco trade is now bigger than ever, in large part due to the strong demand from addicted smokers who cannot afford the Federal Government’s tobacco excise, the highest tax on tobacco in the world. While Australia has been a global leader in tobacco control in the past 20 years, it has come at a cost. Those still addicted to tobacco, mostly people in the low socio-economic category, are desperately searching for cheap tobacco. Criminal syndicates are preying on this addiction by smuggling cheap tobacco, largely from Indonesia, Malaysia and China, and selling it for sometimes half the cost. Australia is lagging behind New Zealand and the UK, who have both introduced a national strategy designed to tackle tobacco smuggling.

Adelaide Advertiser; 07/04/2021; Page 21