Researchers from the University of Bath have disclosed some leaked documents, which state that illegal tobacco marketers are deceiving governments worldwide to flood the cigarette black market, despite the Illicit Trade Protocol (ITP) put in place.
The documents revealed that cigarette manufacturers go over the brim, in order to undermine the Illicit Trade Protocol; an international agreement that was set up in 2012 to ensure tobacco companies pays their taxes.
The ITP also requires all tobacco products are marked so their origin could be traced.
Tobacco and alcohol are the biggest threats to human health of all addictive substances, as tobacco is responsible is responsible for 110 deaths per 100,000 people, while alcohol causes 33 fatalities worldwide, according to a study by University College London.
This is compared to just 6.9 deaths from cocaine per 100,000 members of the public, the research adds, as further results suggests that nearly one in five adults worldwide drink heavily at least once a month, while 15 per cent smoke tobacco every day.
A study by the University of Bath revealed that smuggling cigarette is one of the big tobacco industry’s biggest scam the world’s, as four major tobacco companies developed their own ‘track and trace’ system and hatched a joint plan to use third parties to promote this system to governments under the pretense it was independent of the tobacco industry.
The study also linked two-thirds of smuggled cigarettes to big tobacco firms.
The study author, who is the Director of the Tobacco Control Research Group at the university, Professor Anna Gilmore, said this was one of the tobacco industry’s greatest scams, adding that “Not only is it still involved in tobacco smuggling, but big tobacco is positioning itself to control the very system governments around the world designed to stop it from doing so.”
The research, published in the BMJ, further suggests that big tobacco companies paid for misleading data and reports that overestimate smuggling.
After reviewing industry-funded data on the illicit tobacco trade, the scientists found concerns with the research’s quality and accuracy.
They add the tobacco industry may deliberately produce misleading information.
The Lead author from the Tobacco Control Research Group at Bath, Allen Gallagher, explained “Our latest findings fit with the tobacco industry’s long history of manipulating research, including its extensive efforts to undermine and cause confusion on science showing the negative health impacts of smoking and second-hand smoke.