‘Empty cigarette packs left on streets and in bins across the world can shed light on illicit trade’

February 17, 2019
Empty Pack Survey Methodology

Billions of euros in tax are lost to governments every year because of illicit tobacco. But it’s hard to get reliable data on how big the trade is and where in the world it’s taking place. One of the most reliable sources of information, amazingly enough, are street rubbish bins and pavements, and the empty cigarette packs that lie in and on them. They can tell researchers from where packs are originating, and which are genuine. The Empty Pack Survey is a global cross-industry effort to assess the scale of the illicit trade problem.

Here’s how it works:


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Written by STOP: ILLEGAL

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