Tobacco Smuggling in North Africa

The trade in smuggled cigarettes is estimated to create a black market worth $1 Billion in North Africa. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates  that Africans across the entire continent smoke 400 billion cigarettes a year. 60 billion cigarettes are believed to have been purchased on the black market.

The five Northern African countries of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia account for 44 percent of the region’s tobacco consumption, and the smuggling of cigarettes in those countries are much higher.

In Libya, over 75 percent of cigarettes smoked in the country was smuggled and bought on the black market.

Source:  Jamie Doward, “How cigarette smuggling fuels Africa’s Islamist violence,” Observer, January 26, 2013.