Mapping the impact of illicit cigarettes

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Mapping the impact of the contraband cigarettes trade is no mean feat.

Our story today, "Canada’s Boom in Smuggled Cigarettes," took months to detail how Indian factories and organized crime control a $1 billion black market. And it took a global team of 16 reporters from our International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to come up with an atlas of the illicit market last fall.

So we doff our hats to the enterprising work of the World Lung Foundation and the American Cancer Society, who recently released a newly revised edition of The Tobacco Atlas, a comprehensive report on the wide-ranging impact of illicit tobacco, complete with a map illustrating the market share of contraband cigarettes in each country:

Some key findings:

  • In 2006 contraband cigarettes accounted for 11 percent of global tobacco sales.
  • Burma has the highest estimated contraband cigarette market share at 90 percent.
  • There were 607 seizures of illicit shipments of 100,000 or more cigarettes in Eastern and Central Europe — the most for any region.

Read the rest of the Atlas’s findings here.

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