Customs and Excise officials seized over 38 million cigarettes that were being smuggled into Hong Kong. The number of contraband cigarettes seized was 11 million higher than the number of cigarettes that were seized in 2012, an increase of 41 percent.
Despite the seizures, security officials estimate that up to 1.8 billion cigarettes are smoked in Hong Kong each year that was purchased on the black market, or one in three cigarettes smoked.
The cost or a single pack of tobacco bought at a retail store in Hong Kong is $6.45 (5 Hong Kong Dollars). When buying packs off the black market, a customer can buy 10 packs for $38 (300 Hong Kong Dollars), or $3.80 per pack.
Source: Jennifer Ngo, “Illegal cigarette trade booming despite customs busts,” South China Morning Post, January 4, 2014.