CONFRONTING ILLICIT TOBACCO TRADE: A GLOBAL REVIEW OF COUNTRY EXPERIENCES
Why is illicit trade in tobacco products a problem?
Tobacco use results in unparalleled health, economic, and social losses worldwide. It is estimated that 1.1 billion people smoke globally, or 21 percent of the world’s adult population. Tobacco kills at least half of long-term smokers, accounting for more deaths each year than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. As a result, about 7.2 million people die each year, and if the current trend continues, tobacco will kill more than 8 million people annually by 2030. Low- and middle-income countries, where about 80 percent of these premature deaths occur, disproportionately carry this burden.4 The worldwide economic costs of smoking are estimated to reach at least US$ 1. trillion per year, equivalent to 1.8 percent of the world’s GDP. Almost 40 percent of these costs occur in developing countries.