Illegal cigarette sales exceed 12%

Food

The black market for cigarettes and tobacco in Hungary has grown to 12.1% of total sales, market research company GfK Hungária revealed in its publication today.

One year ago GfK Hungária reported that illegal cigarette sales accounted for 7.7% of the total turnover. By the end of last year the figure had grown to 11.8%, but GfK noted than that there had been “restructuring” on the market due to the tobacco concessions introduced last year.

Hungary initiated a state monopoly on retail tobacco sales in July of 2013, sharply reducing the number of outlets where smokers could buy cigarettes. A guaranteed margin for retailers also increased cigarette prices. The government's rationale for the monopoly was the need to keep tobacco away from children.

GfK Hungaria was commissioned by tobacco industry companies to survey the market. It conducted the survey by counting cigarette packets discarded in public places, an approved method in the European Union, it said.

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