Member Article

Philip Morris steps-up fight against illegal trade

Philip Morris International (PMI) is calling for new applications for PMI IMPACT, the $100m global initiative to support projects dedicated to fighting illegal trade in all forms, ranging from illicit tobacco products and other consumer goods to counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals and electronics.

The PMI IMPACT announcement comes in the wake of a new annual KPMG report, commissioned by PMI, examining the consumption of illegal cigarettes. The report showed that in the UK: • In total, there were 30.6bn cigarettes consumed in 2020, down nearly 7% on 2019 • The proportion of illegal counterfeit and contraband cigarettes rose to 17.1% or 5.2bn cigarettes (an increase of 230m in 2020) • Counterfeit cigarettes are at a five-year high, up 9% on 2019 • £2.2 billion in tax revenue is estimated to have been lost due to illicit cigarettes (up £35.6m from 2019) • The highest levels of counterfeit and contraband cigarettes were found in North East England, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber.

Cem Uzundal Head of Field Force Sales from Philip Morris Limited (PML - PMI’s UK affiliate), said: “To increase profits, illegal tobacco is produced with cheap materials, and with little regard for health and quality controls. Seized counterfeit cigarettes have even been found to containing mites, insect eggs, fungi and even faeces. “Illicit products are also completely unnecessary. Smoke-free alternatives are widely available to legal-age smokers, such as heated tobacco products, which are both affordable and less harmful than continued smoking.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Nathan Stennett .

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