From: Journal of Financial Crime

Author(s):Mark Lauchs , (School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

Rebecca Keane, (School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)



This paper aims to provide an overview of the illicit tobacco market in Australia. It attempts to build a picture of the sources of demand, size of the market and methods of supply.

This paper is based on collation of disparate government reports, industry research, media and court documents. It is a preliminary paper in the absence of better source data.

From: Crime Prevention in the 21st Century

Stefano Caneppele


This chapter presents a case study on crime proofing of legislation. The case study regards the new EU Tobacco Products Directive. The study applied the crime proofing methodology to the draft version (submitted to the EU Parliament) in order to understand whether the new regulation may unintentionally have generated criminal opportunities. It revealed that some provisions, namely the ban on menthol and slim cigarettes, would significantly increase the crime risks of an enlargement of the illicit market. Eventually, the European Parliament did not vote for the ban of slim cigarettes which—according to the analysis—would play a key role in increasing ITTP risks. On the other hand, the entry into enforcement of the menthol ban was also planned only after a phase-out period of 4 years. It is impossible to say whether and how much this study persuaded European regulators. However, this exercise proved the relevance of the CPL methodology in crime prevention.

From: Journal of Global Public Health

Ross MacKenzie, Jappe Eckhardt & Ade Widyati Prastyani

Japan Tobacco International (JTI) is the international division of Japan Tobacco Incorporated, and the world’s third largest transnational tobacco company. Founded in 1999, JTI’s rapid growth has been the result of a global business strategy that potentially serves as a model for other Asian tobacco companies. This paper analyses Japan Tobacco Incorporated’s global expansion since the 1980s in response to market opening, foreign competition, and declining share of a contracting domestic market. Key features of its global strategy include the on-going central role and investment by the Japanese government, and an expansion agenda based on mergers and acquisitions. The paper also discusses the challenges this global business strategy poses for global tobacco control and public health. This paper is part of the special issue ‘The Emergence of Asian Tobacco Companies: Implications for Global Health Governance’.

From: The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)

Clare Ellis
RUSI Publications, 26 January 2017

This is the second in a series of five country-level papers on the role of organised crime groups in the illicit trade of tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceuticals across Europe, focusing on Spain as a case study.

The criminal networks behind Spain’s illicit trade are sophisticated, agile and often active in other areas of criminality. In contrast to other countries studied, there does not appear to be a decisive shift away from the established high-risk activities of organised crime (such as trafficking narcotics) towards illicit trade, which is considered comparatively low-risk both in terms of detection and potential sanctions. Instead, the flexibility of organised crime groups in Spain includes both forms of activity, with groups moving between different illicit commodities and between crime types as opportunities arise.
While Spain has long acted as a transit hub, a substantial domestic market for illicit goods has also developed. There appears to be limited infiltration of legal supply chains, with stringent regulatory systems largely preventing illicit goods from being sold through registered retailers. However, such goods remain readily available from a variety of sources, suggesting that measures have displaced rather than suppressed the sale of illicit products. Production of illicit goods within Spain is also an emerging trend, with illegal tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical factories uncovered in recent years.

From: SSRN

Alberto Aziani, Transcrime – Research Centre on Transational Crime

Jonathan Kulick, Marron Institute

Neill Norman, Cornerstone Research

James E. Prieger, Pepperdine University – School of Public Policy

From: The Courier

Fiona Henderson

People who smoke chop chop – or unbranded loose tobacco – report significantly worse health than legal smokers, according to the Cancer Council Victoria.

A report, Health Effects of Smoking Tobacco in Other Forms, uses data from the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, which shows 89 per cent of smokers use manufactured cigarettes, but chop chop is also still in use.

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The National Cancer Institute, in conjunction with the World Health Organization, has published a monograph, The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control that is available here. (16+MB) The monograph emphasizes that effective tobacco control requires that governments take steps to,

  • Reduce the (illicit) commercial availability of tobacco to youth.

Thus, interventions that effectively restrict youth access to commercial sources can also decrease the social exchange of tobacco by disrupting the supply chain and reducing the total supply of tobacco available to youth.

  • In order to reduce youth access to tobacco, governments need to—and can—cut the flow of illicit tobacco.


From: Chemistry International 3 (3) (2017)212-218

Adam Mekonnen Engida and Bhagwan SinghChandravanshi,

From: Mackinac Center for Public Policy

By Michael D. LaFaive, Todd Nesbit, Ph.D., and Scott Drenkard

Click here to view the PDF of the full study.


Since 2008 the Mackinac Center for Public Policy — and more recently in conjunction with the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation — has worked to estimate the degree to which cigarettes are smuggled into and out of American states. Our research, and that of other scholars too, suggests that smuggling is a rampant problem, particularly in states with high cigarette excise taxes.