4.7 billion illegal cigarettes in the market

International tobacco companies with a presence in Greece are worried by the government’s plans to move ahead with a new special consumption tax hike on tobacco products at a time when the loss of tax revenues from illegal cigarettes this year amounts to an estimated 680-700 million euros.

Ilias Asimakopoulos, the chief executive of JT International Hellas, which is the local market’s second-biggest player, told a press conference in Athens on Tuesday that 4.7 billion illegal cigarettes enter the Greek market every year, amounting to 20.5 percent of the local cigarette market.

This is explained by the fact that the average legal package costs 3.30 euros, while the illegal ones sell at 1.50 euros per pack.