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Illegal Cigarette Trade Surges in South Africa Amid Rising Prices

The economic impact of illicit trade, estimated at R100 billion annually by the South African Revenue Service, underscores the urgency of addressing this issue to mitigate its detrimental effects on the economy and public health

Special to The Accra Times

As South African smokers face declining purchasing power due to escalating tax levies on legitimate cigarettes, many are turning to cheaper illegal alternatives, exacerbating the problem of illicit trade in the country, reports TimesLIVE.

Brig-Gen Juan Carlos Buitrago of Colombia’s national police highlighted this issue at a conference on illicit trade in Dubai, emphasizing how the ever-rising prices of legal cigarettes, compounded by inflation, drive consumers towards illicit products. Buitrago cautioned against measures proposed in the Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill, arguing that they could further fuel the illicit trade by restricting visibility and complicating law enforcement efforts.

The economic impact of illicit trade, estimated at R100 billion annually by the South African Revenue Service, underscores the urgency of addressing this issue to mitigate its detrimental effects on the economy and public health.

Sourceallafrica

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