Tax office, industry insiders campaign against black market tobacco sales

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Hungary's National Tax and Customs Authority (NAV) launched a campaign against black market sales of cigarettes on Monday together with industry insiders. 

Head of the Hungarian Association of Tobacco Industry Investors, Lóránt Dezső, said the campaign would involve posters, radio ads and newspaper articles drawing attention to the negative effects of black market tobacco sales.

Károly Szabó, a chief director at NAV, said 85 mln illegal cigarettes had been seized in the first nine months of this year, more than during all of last year. Data from market researcher GfK show the share of black market cigarette sales jumped to 11.8% at the end of last year from 5.8% in 2012. In July of 2013, Hungary initiated a state monopoly on retail tobacco sales, sharply reducing the number of outlets where smokers could buy cigarettes while also increasing cigarette prices. 

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