Illegal Market / Brazil

Unlawful trade in cigarettes, particularly smuggling and counterfeiting, undermines the inflow of government revenues, encourages organised crime, misleads consumers with products whose quality is doubtful, and hampers efforts to prevent consumption by minors. This unfair practice stunts the growth of the brands of the British American Tobacco Group in several countries, lowering the values of investments in distribution and weakens the systems regulating the legally-established side of this industry.

Easy profits, oversight difficulties and more recent ban on cigarette advertising made the black market in cigarettes an extremely profitable activity in Brazil, where high taxes on legal goods encourage these clandestine activities even more. Estimates indicate that the illegal market accounted for 28.6% of the cigarettes smoked in Brazil in 2007, equivalent to some 37.1 billion sticks, worth around R$ 2.1 billion.

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