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Loss of millions over cigarette contraband

14 Jun 2019. Greece loses EUR 690 million annually in excise tax revenues due to illicit tobacco trade, according to The Stella Report, Kathimerini reported.

The Stella Report, commissioned by Philip Morris International, showed that the illegal cigarette market in Greece rose to 23.6 per cent last year, an increase of 5.6 percentage points from 2017. And thus in first place in the European Union (EU). In the EU, the average rate of illegal tobacco was 8.6 per cent of the total tobacco consumption, the report said.

According to Kathimerini, the increase in taxation on tobacco led thousands of smokers to switch to contraband cigarettes. Today, taxation account for 85 per cent of the retail price of cigarettes in Greece. Of the EUR 4.50 for a pack of cigarettes, EUR 3.85 goes to the state and just EUR 0.85 to the retailer, the distributor and the tobacco industry.