GCC member countries increase illegal cigarette trade
Recently, data show that since the Gulf Cooperation Council increased cigarette excise tax last year, the illegal cigarette trade has caused losses of US $ 210 million to member states. The data also shows that the market share of illicit tobacco products in GCC member countries rose from 1.6% in the first half of 2017 to 5.3% in the first half of 2018.
Saudi Arabia has the highest sales of illegal cigarettes, accounting for 6.6% of all cigarette sales, and Kuwait has the lowest sales of illegal cigarettes, at 1%. It is reported that Saudi Arabia's illegal cigarette consumption rose from 484 million sticks in 2016 to 571 million sticks in 2017.