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Most M’sians Think That High Cigarette Prices Is The Reason Why The Tobacco Black Market Is Thriving

Most M’sians Think That High Cigarette Prices Is The Reason Why The Tobacco Black Market Is Thriving

Malaysia loses RM5 billion to the black market every year.

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British American Tobacco (BAT) Malaysia’s second nationwide survey revealed that 64% of Malaysians believe high prices of legal cigarettes is a key factor that is driving people to the tobacco black market.

The survey was conducted as part of BAT Malaysia’s Stop The Black Market campaign, which aims to raise awareness about the negative effects of the illicit cigarette trade.

(Credit: British American Tobacco Malaysia)

It was earlier reported that the sale of illegal cigarettes in Malaysia cost the country RM5.3 billion in tax losses last year. The latest survey also showed that 75% Malaysians want the government to introduce measures to stop this in the 2021 Budget. 

Managing Director of BAT Malaysia Jonathan Reed said that the urgent call for action could be fuelled by uncertainties related to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

From the survey results and feedback we have received, Malaysians are calling for urgent action to reduce the price of some goods, to help stop the black market. This likely comes from concerns they have on job security and income stability amidst the on-going Covid-19 crisis.

Managing Director of BAT Malaysia, Jonathan Reed

The tobacco black market refers to cigarette and tobacco products that are smuggled into Malaysia. It is run by smuggling syndicates, which rely on corruption and “creative” methods to transport illegal cigarettes.

62% of the total tobacco market in Malaysia is owned by criminal gangs, and about six out of 10 cigarettes sold in Malaysia are illegal.

You can find out more on how to Stop The Black Market here.


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