Fighting the "Contras"

Azzato, Maureen; Browne, Michael
June 2004
Convenience Store News;6/14/2004, Vol. 40 Issue 8, p6
Trade Publication
A long with more funding for health care, a reduction in underage smoking and a decrease in the overall rate of cigarette smoking, there has been an unintended — and definitely unwanted — result of the ever-increasing excise taxes on cigarettes: the exponential growth of contraband cigarettes in the United States. These illegal smokes are a major concern to tobacco manufacturers and retailers, who may find their sales diverted to these channels. Contraband cigarettes fall into one of four categories, counterfeit; illegal imports; interstate smuggling and the cargo theft. These cigarettes, almost all from China, come in packaging virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. The tobacco giant Philp Morris USA Inc., is taking aggressive steps to combat all types of contraband cigarettes.


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