Illegal cigarettes account for around 24% of the South African tobacco market

Don't smoke illegal cigarettes

If you pay less than R16.50 for a pack of cigarettes, you rob South Africa of R6 Billion in tax each year.

Don't smoke illegal cigarettes

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Don't smoke illegal cigarettes

Stay up to date with the latest statistics

South Africa loses

R6 billion

a year in tax due to the illicit cigarette trade.

In 2016 there were

7.2 billion

illicit cigarettes flooding the market.

Before supporting illegal vendors

The illegal trade of cigarettes is not a victimless crime, and has far reaching consequences on our economy, society and environment. Before supporting illegal vendors, keep the following in mind.

Keep it 100 for the economy

The illegal cigarette trade has a lasting effect on our economy due to lost tax revenue. Sin tax is an important source of funds for governments world wide, providing resources for essential public services, such as transport, education and health care. By buying illicit cigarettes, your country is robbed of vital taxes for all of these services.

Keep it 100 for your country

The illegal cigarette trade is largely reliant on infiltrated supply lines. These same networks are used to traffic other contraband, such as weapons and drugs. By supporting the illicit cigarette trade, consumers are inadvertently funding corrupt government workers and private citizens in their criminal activities.

Keep it 100 for your peace of mind

Illegal cigarettes are completely unregulated, meaning that there are no standards in place to control what they are made out of, or that correct dosages of nicotine and tar are adhered to. Further than that, we have no way to ensure that cigarettes are not sold to minors.

Keep it 100 for jobs

Legitimate cigarette producers, retailers and other people in the supply chain have seen a decline in revenue as the consumption of illegal cigarettes rises. As a result, there have been cost reductions that have forced suppliers to retrench employees. Over the last five years, the volume of legal cigarettes sold (including exports) by British American Tobacco South Africa has decreased from 22 billion sticks in 2011 to 17 billion sticks in 2016, resulting in the loss of 700 jobs alone.

Understand the whole story

Set up quasi-legitimate factories but do not declare full production numbers in order to avoid paying excise tax on cigarettes – this is how they are able to sell them so cheaply

Distribute the undeclared production "out the back door" to avoid scrutiny of the law. These cigarettes are sold cheaply to the wholesalers and suppliers with fake invoices

Distribute cigarettes to small retailers

Hawkers and Spazas then sell the final product to the consumer for less than R16.50 per box

Unsuspecting consumers are unknowingly funding organized crime syndicate activities

Regional contribution to total illicit trade