Limits...
British American Tobacco and the "insidious impact of illicit trade" in cigarettes across Africa.

Legresley E, Lee K, Muggli ME, Patel P, Collin J, Hurt RD - Tob Control (2008)

Bottom Line: BAT worked through distributors and local agents to exploit weak government capacity to gain substantial market share in major countries.Documents demonstrate that the complicity of BAT in cigarette smuggling extends to Africa, which includes many of the poorest countries in the world.This is in direct conflict with offers by the company to contribute to stronger international cooperation to tackle the illicit tobacco trade.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 4 Bank Note Pvt, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To provide an overview of the complicity of British American Tobacco (BAT) in the illicit trade of cigarettes across the African continent in terms of rationale, supply routes and scale.

Methods: Analysis of internal BAT documents and industry publications.

Results: BAT has relied on illegal channels to supply markets across Africa since the 1980s. Available documents suggest smuggling has been an important component of BAT's market entry strategy in order to gain leverage in negotiating with governments for tax concessions, compete with other transnational tobacco companies, circumvent local import restrictions and unstable political and economic conditions and gain a market presence. BAT worked through distributors and local agents to exploit weak government capacity to gain substantial market share in major countries.

Conclusions: Documents demonstrate that the complicity of BAT in cigarette smuggling extends to Africa, which includes many of the poorest countries in the world. This is in direct conflict with offers by the company to contribute to stronger international cooperation to tackle the illicit tobacco trade.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Flow and volume of BATUKE cigarettes via the contraband trade in West Africa (1987). Reproduced from the original document in the British American Tobacco Document Archive (Fenn44).
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clu-17-05-0339-f01: Flow and volume of BATUKE cigarettes via the contraband trade in West Africa (1987). Reproduced from the original document in the British American Tobacco Document Archive (Fenn44).

Mentions: Although comprehensive data of smuggled product by volume or value remain elusive owing to the illegal nature of the trade, BAT’s sales figures for certain years estimate that contraband represents a high proportion of the total market in some African countries. In West Africa, the flow and amount of contraband across countries is described for 1987 in figure 1. Sales of Lucky Strike by country for 1993 (table 1) suggest that contraband (general trade) comprised 45% of market in Nigeria, 14% in Zaire and 12% in Ghana. All three countries were described as prohibiting legal imports.44 For 1987, BATUKE estimated the percentage of the total market from transit, and its own percentage contribution to each market (table 2). The total transit market in Nigeria was estimated to be 4%, while BATUKE’s contribution was around 55%. In Cameroon and Burkino Faso, the transit market was 0.5% and 0.55%, with BATUKE’s contribution around 68% and 60% respectively.45 In terms of estimated value, documents describe BATUKE’s transit business in Niger was worth about £14 million in 198946 and £10 million in Nigeria in 1990.47


British American Tobacco and the "insidious impact of illicit trade" in cigarettes across Africa.

Legresley E, Lee K, Muggli ME, Patel P, Collin J, Hurt RD - Tob Control (2008)

Flow and volume of BATUKE cigarettes via the contraband trade in West Africa (1987). Reproduced from the original document in the British American Tobacco Document Archive (Fenn44).
© Copyright Policy - openaccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2602753&req=5

clu-17-05-0339-f01: Flow and volume of BATUKE cigarettes via the contraband trade in West Africa (1987). Reproduced from the original document in the British American Tobacco Document Archive (Fenn44).
Mentions: Although comprehensive data of smuggled product by volume or value remain elusive owing to the illegal nature of the trade, BAT’s sales figures for certain years estimate that contraband represents a high proportion of the total market in some African countries. In West Africa, the flow and amount of contraband across countries is described for 1987 in figure 1. Sales of Lucky Strike by country for 1993 (table 1) suggest that contraband (general trade) comprised 45% of market in Nigeria, 14% in Zaire and 12% in Ghana. All three countries were described as prohibiting legal imports.44 For 1987, BATUKE estimated the percentage of the total market from transit, and its own percentage contribution to each market (table 2). The total transit market in Nigeria was estimated to be 4%, while BATUKE’s contribution was around 55%. In Cameroon and Burkino Faso, the transit market was 0.5% and 0.55%, with BATUKE’s contribution around 68% and 60% respectively.45 In terms of estimated value, documents describe BATUKE’s transit business in Niger was worth about £14 million in 198946 and £10 million in Nigeria in 1990.47

Bottom Line: BAT worked through distributors and local agents to exploit weak government capacity to gain substantial market share in major countries.Documents demonstrate that the complicity of BAT in cigarette smuggling extends to Africa, which includes many of the poorest countries in the world.This is in direct conflict with offers by the company to contribute to stronger international cooperation to tackle the illicit tobacco trade.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 4 Bank Note Pvt, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To provide an overview of the complicity of British American Tobacco (BAT) in the illicit trade of cigarettes across the African continent in terms of rationale, supply routes and scale.

Methods: Analysis of internal BAT documents and industry publications.

Results: BAT has relied on illegal channels to supply markets across Africa since the 1980s. Available documents suggest smuggling has been an important component of BAT's market entry strategy in order to gain leverage in negotiating with governments for tax concessions, compete with other transnational tobacco companies, circumvent local import restrictions and unstable political and economic conditions and gain a market presence. BAT worked through distributors and local agents to exploit weak government capacity to gain substantial market share in major countries.

Conclusions: Documents demonstrate that the complicity of BAT in cigarette smuggling extends to Africa, which includes many of the poorest countries in the world. This is in direct conflict with offers by the company to contribute to stronger international cooperation to tackle the illicit tobacco trade.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus