• July 24, 2024

Illicit Cigarette Sales up in the Netherlands

 Illicit Cigarette Sales up in the Netherlands
Photo: mitarart

Illicit cigarette sales in the Netherlands are rising in the wake of tax hikes, according to Dutch News.

Researchers collect empty cigarette packs every two years to identify their origins, and in 2023, 25 percent contained cigarettes that had not been subject to Dutch tobacco duties, up from 15 percent in 2021.

The research showed that 19 percent of the cigarettes were bought in other countries, but 4 percent were either fake branded cigarettes or had been smuggled into the country, up from 1 percent in the previous study.

“The big profits criminals can make with duty fraud and illegal production and trade are building up criminal assets,” the ministries said in a briefing. “And that allows them to finance other criminal activities.”

RIVM, a public health institute, also released research showing that smokers buy about 10 percent of their tobacco abroad, either by importing it themselves or having others import it for them.

According to the RIVM research, price increases aid in quitting, with 28 percent of participants stating they tried to quit and 18 percent successfully quitting.

Earlier this year, the price of a pack of cigarettes increased by about €1 ($1.08) to €11.10 per pack of 20. The increase aims to curb smoking rates.

The price of rolling tobacco packs increased by €3.60 to €24, with further increases expected. Cigarette taxes are now around €7.81 per pack.