Feb 14, 2017

High taxes trigger an influx of illicit cigarettes

Sri Lanka’s high prices in legally manufactured cigarettes have triggered an increasing influx of smuggled tobacco products  

The tobacco industry in Sri Lanka, consists of legally manufactured cigarettes (55 percent), beedi (43 percent) and illegal or smuggled cigarettes (2 percent ). Over the last decade, total smoking has increased with declining cigarette volumes and growing beedi, while smuggled products have recorded an increase.

Customs officials recently arrested three persons at the Colombo International Airport for attempting to smuggle 70,000 sticks of illicit cigarettes into the country.