Tobacco smugglers are ‘patriots’: Australian senator

Editor’s Note: The following  is presented as part of CRE’s commitment to ventilating the viewpoints of all stakeholders in the contraband tobacco debate. See here.

From: SBS News

Liberal Democrats senator has railed against the government’s crackdown on illegal tobacco, describing smugglers as patriots.

A crossbench senator has lavished praise on illegal tobacco smugglers, calling the criminals “patriots” and rejecting a crackdown on chop chop dealers.


Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm said people dealing the tobacco, known as chop chop, were simply avoiding unreasonable taxes.

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#NotJustAJob campaign highlights threat illicit cigarette trade poses to SA jobs

From: IOL


Trade union Fawu has embarked on a campaign to highlight the plight of South African workers who face losing their jobs to the ballooning illegal cigarette trade. Using the hashtag #NotJustAJob, Fawu’s tweets recount the personal stories of individuals employed in the South African tobacco industry who say their jobs are being threatened by cheap, illegally imported cigarettes.

These illegal imports are not subject to government’s ‘sin tax’ and therefore are sold on the streets for as little as R10 a packet, whereas legal, taxed cigarettes are priced from around R25 upwards.

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The menace of illegal trade of cigarettes

From: The Daily FT | Sri Lanka’s first and only national daily business paper

Cigarettes are among the most illegally trafficked goods in the world. Cigarettes are becoming a preferred item to smuggle as they are easy to buy, easy to smuggle and provide a good return on the investment, states a report from the World Health Organization in 2015.

Public place smoking ban a disaster for black-owned township businesses [South Africa]

From: Business Report | Opinion

Government’s proposal to ban all indoor smoking, to remove closed off indoor smoking sections, and to introduce outdoor smoking restrictions was designed without any recognition of the reality of township life, says the writer.

JOHANNESBURG – The Department of Health has proposed a new law, which will ban all indoor smoking, the removal of closed off indoor smoking sections, and the introduction of outdoor smoking restrictions. Quite simply, these provisions will be a disaster for thousands of black-owned taverns and related small businesses in townships. In essence, the proposed law is well intentioned but it fails to take account of township realities.


One toke over the line: Commons, Senate battle over limits on home-grown pot, branding

From: Calgary Sun | Opinion

Mark Bonokoski


Right now, street gangs, outlaw bikers and other criminal elements remain the only dealer in town until the House of Commons reviews the Senate’s recommendations on Bill C-45, makes its decision on the no-goes, and then sends it off for Royal Assent.


Look no further than the cigarette business, where legally-manufactured and highly regulated cigarettes cost upwards to $115 for a carton of 200 smokes in convenience stores, but only $10-$20 for a baggie of contraband cigarettes on the nearest First Nations reserve where smoke shacks and illegal pot dispensaries are now starting to rival each other in numbers.

Cigarette smuggling robs Washington state of revenue

From: The Seattle Times | Editorial

Cigarette smuggling continues to cost Washington state hundreds of millions in lost tax revenue each year. Lawmakers should consider ways to harness and capture some of these evaporating tax dollars.

The state of Washington continues to lose an astounding amount of tax revenue to a little-discussed problem: cigarette smuggling.

This type of tax evasion costs the state hundreds of millions a year. Yet it often fades into the background during budget debates, which can get held up by disagreements on how to spend smaller amounts of money.

Do Islamist Terrorist Groups in Pakistan Control the Country’s Illicit Tobacco Trade in Cahoots with Government Officials?


Going up in Smoke in Pakistan


There is enough evidence in public domain to show that the Islamist terrorist outfits, many of them based in Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi, derive their financial muscle from the drug trade. Official patronage has been helping them to thrive and survive even as drug addiction has become what sedate Karachi daily, Dawn, terms as a silent epidemic.


Taiwanese Delegates Excluded from 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health

From: Tobacco Control: Blog

by Marita Hefler, News Editor

[Tobacco Control Blog] Editors note: The joint statement below is from delegates from Taiwan who were excluded from the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health, held in Cape Town, South Africa from 7-9 March. Comment was sought from the conference secretariat; the full list of questions put to them, and their response, are at the end of this article.

More information is in the May 2018 edition of Tobacco Control (here) and on our website (here).

Statement from Taiwanese delegates:

The Truth About The “Truth” Campaign

From: Odyssey

They’re condescending and out of touch.

Cigarettes kill. There’s no denying that. Since the passing of the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act in 1971, the advertisement of tobacco products has been banned on television and radio. In 1984, cigarette companies were forced into attaching the Surgeon General’s warning onto their packaging. Slowly, the danger of using tobacco products became more well known. However, it wasn’t until 1999 that advertisement shifted to full-blown anti-smoking campaigns.

Plain packaging won’t reduce smoking

Editor’s Note: See Counterfeit Products, Genuine Harm: How Intellectual Property Theft Fuels Organized Crime While Undermining American Communities.

From: New Straits Times | Letters


Since Australia imposed plain packaging, which is an extreme anti-intellectual property rights policy, to reduce the smoking rate, the two-decade decline in smoking stopped.

That’s according to the government’s records. There are more smokers and more seizures of illicit cigarettes in Australia than there were five years ago when the plain packaging policy started.

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