The cigarette "transit road" to the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq. Illicit tobacco trade in the Middle East
The cigarette "transit road" to the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq. Illicit tobacco trade in the Middle East World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Cairo. 2003. 32 pp.
Summary of published paper:
In the Middle East, the two main target markets for international tobacco companies are the Islamic Republics of Iran and Iraq. Both countries represent huge possibilities for international cigarette companies due to (1) their large populations; (2) rising living standards; (3) moderate cigarette consumption levels leaving room for growth; and (4) a worldwide trend towards a diminished role for state tobacco monopolies. Additionally, Iran is conveniently located, wedged between the tobacco industry’s established smuggling centers in the Middle East and the burgeoning tobacco markets in the subcontinent and the former Soviet Union. Industry documents suggest that the multinational tobacco companies saw the Islamic Republic of Iran not only as a market, but also as a conduit for the supply of contraband cigarettes to other countries. Overall, the tobacco industry’s documents suggest that the Islamic Republic of Iran was viewed by the global cigarette companies as a battlefield where the national tobacco monopoly could be duped, government officials could be misled, and the physical health of Iranians could be sacrificed for the financial health of the companies’ shareholders.
The paper examines the procedures and patterns of cigarette smuggling in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions, and discusses European lawsuits against tobacco companies for smuggling.
Related SourceWatch resources
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