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This report provides the first country profile of the project the Factbook on the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (hereinafter ITTP).
The project has been developed by Transcrime after the Round Table on Proofing EU Regulation against the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products hosted by Università Cattolica, Milan, on 5 May 2011. During the Round Table, participants (researchers and policymakers with experience in the field of the illicit trade in tobacco products) agreed on a research agenda on the ITTP (Transcrime 2011b). Items 3 and 6 of the research agenda focused on the need for better analysis of the tobacco market which takes account of its dual nature (i.e. a legal and an illicit part) and on how licit and illicit markets vary across different countries and regions. Given these considerations, Transcrime has developed the Factbook on the ITTP, a multi-annual research plan providing detailed analyses of the ITTP and of its relations with the legal market and other socio-economic and political factors in a number of countries around the world. The United Kingdom (hereinafter the UK) was the first country selected.
The aim of the Factbook is to provide an innovative instrument able to shed light on the complex mechanisms behind the ITTP in different countries. Tobacco consumption is undoubtedly a danger for human health, and the tobacco market should be carefully regulated by governments. Illicit tobacco avoids state regulation and taxation and may jeopardize tobacco control policies. The Factbook will contribute to raising awareness about the global relevance of the ITTP and about the strategies available to prevent it. The Factbook has been developed for a wide readership, from policymakers, through academics, to interested stakeholders, with the intention to develop knowledge-based debates and policies on the ITTP.
The information gathered for this report originates from academic literature, grey literature (official reports, studies and papers), open sources, questionnaires and interviews with experts and stakeholders. Notwithstanding the wealth of documents on the tobacco market and the ITTP in the UK, the data-gathering phase of the projects encountered major difficulties due to the number of sources, institutions and stakeholders involved.
As a concerned stakeholder in the fight against the illicit trade in tobacco products, Philip Morris International (PMI) welcomed Transcrime’s initiative to develop the Factbook on the ITTP, with financial support and the provision of relevant information. However, Transcrime retained full control and stands guarantor for the independence of the research and its results. The information for the study has been collected by Transcrime and was not shared with PMI.Related project:
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