Buying cheap black market cigarettes is a crime with many victims

black market cigarettes

If you are a smoker then you already know that every time you light up a cigarette you are putting your health at risk. Preaching about the health hazards of smoking is definitely not our job here at, what we do believe is our mandate however is try to make sure that those of you who choose to continue to smoke and do so at your own consensual risk, do not cause any other harm to yourself or others.

Having on numerous occasions from this podium criticized authorities across the globe for their insistence to tax cigarettes so heavily, we fully understand why smokers increasingly avoid buying their cigarettes from their local stores and seek cheaper alternatives. This simply happens because huge numbers of smokers still want to smoke but can no longer afford the very steep price of a packet of cigarettes.

Buying illegal, fake cigarettes on the black market however should not be your preferred option to avoid the predicament of being called to pay excessive prices for your smokes. Although you may think that the only one directly affected by such a decision are the profits of the big tobacco companies, this is not so. And you should not buy illicit cigarettes just because they are cheap, mostly because buying them is a crime and not a victimless one.

Obviously this practice cheats the state of tax money and although you may feel that this is your way of punishing the authorities for taxing your cigarettes so heavily, you should perhaps consider that the revenues lost could have gone into better healthcare, schooling or other social provisions from which you could have also benefitted.

Moreover, the illicit tobacco trade also victimizes all the reputable retailers of legal cigarettes; it hits their livelihoods and costs jobs for their employees, since they lose profits and cannot compete with those illegally engaged in the underground tobacco trade.

This is particularly evident in countries with high cigarette taxation such as the USA or the UK, which also imposes a tobacco tax that is among the highest in the world, with a 12.5g pack of loose tobacco costing around £4.45 in the UK while 50g can be bought in Belgium for as little as £3.40.

British based cigarette manufacturer Japan Tobacco International points out through its media relations manager that “Illegal tobacco products that are ‘peddled’ within communities pose a risk to the future existence of the hard working convenience store owner and anyone who buys counterfeit cigarettes may be contributing to the decline of the high street. The vast majority of retailers are the gatekeepers in our community when it comes to the sale of age restricted products and we must foster a culture of No ID No Sale, so that those underage know they cannot buy from reputable outlets.”

But even if this argument does not convince you to stay away from black market fake cigarettes either and you still want to buy from those smugglers who make huge profits by undercutting lawful retailers, then please do consider that the first person you are harming when buying illicit cigarettes is your own self. This is because the fake cigarettes are made all over the world in unregulated factories which means that there is no control whatsoever on the potentially poisonous content of these cheap packets.

It your right to choose to smoker and risk your health but bear in mind that counterfeit cigarettes are not only much worse than a real cigarette when it comes to your wellbeing, they are potentially poisonous, as they often contain dangerous chemicals and even traces of animal droppings, dead insects, asbestos and plastics!

So, don’t take such a serious risk merely for the sake of saving a few dollars, euros or pounds. Don’t go for that really cheap fake, illegal pack but buy high quality cigarettes only. For an info-packed guide on how to save hugely read our recently published relevant post on buying quality cigarettes cheaply and safely on the internet.