People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
Tobacco companies are getting away with paying only a tiny fraction of the costs of smuggling in Europe based on deals they struck years ago to avoid prosecution. Those deals should end, says a new article in Tobacco Control journal.
The agreements were made between 2004 and 2010 with Philip Morris (PM), including Philip Morris International (PMI), Japan Tobacco International (JTI), British American Tobacco (BAT), and Imperial Tobacco Limited (ITL).
They followed emerging evidence of the direct and indirect involvement of the tobacco industry in smuggling activities.
The deals included the companies paying annual fixed sums from 2004 up to 2030, ranging from $US200 million to $US1 billion; and 'seizure payments' equivalent to 100 percent of the evaded taxes for seizures containing more than 50,000 cigarettes, rising to 500 percent if total annual seizures exceed 150-450 million cigarettes.
However In 2012, companies paid just $3.3 million, equivalent to 20 million seized cigarettes. That was just a tiny fraction (0.5 percent) of the 3.8 billion cigarettes seized in the EU that year, say the article's authors.
The theme of World No Tobacco Day 2015 is Stop illicit trade of Tobacco Products. See our resources.