Cigarettes of ‘ambiguous quality’ in the Greek black market? Findings from an empirical study on cigarette smuggling

Georgios A. Antonopoulos

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    The aim of this commentary, which is based on some findings from an empirical study on cigarette smuggling in Greece (Antonopoulos 2008), is to contribute to the discussion in relation to the alleged burden on the health of smokers who consume cigarettes purchased from the Greek black market. This is a recurrent theme which has recently re-emerged at the forefront of discussion—along with other related issues such as smoking and health or smoking and the effect on specific sectors of the Greek economy—with the ban of smoking in cafés, restaurants, hospitals, vehicles, and other indoor public space that was put into effect in the country on July 1, 2009. Since the mid-1990s and every time the authorities come across loads of contraband cigarettes, there are references to the quality of the merchandise sold in the Greek black market. Specifically, it has been suggested that contraband cigarettes of ‘ambiguous quality’, often described as fake cigarettes (‘tsigara maimou’ as they are euphemistically called in Greek) with high levels of chemicals and toxins may cause respiratory and other health-related problems to smokers
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)260-266
    JournalTrends in Organized Crime
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

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