Illicit Tobacco in Papua New Guinea

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Around the world, the illicit trade of tobacco products is prolific. Cigarettes are among the most commonly traded commodities on the black market due to high-profit margins, relative ease of production and movement, and low detection rates and penalties. Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a rate of smoking among the highest in the world and it is widely acknowledged that the illicit trade of tobacco and other goods in PNG has been a significant and growing problem.

While in recent times the PNG Government has made efforts to address the illicit tobacco trade, PNG requires a solid understanding of the existing tobacco market, supply chains and the size of impacts of the problem. In 2018, the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) expressed an interest in a comprehensive and independent market study being undertaken to examine the level of illicit tobacco trade in PNG. It sought to develop a better understanding of the magnitude of the problem to enable it to make well informed and economically sound decisions to prevent the illicit tobacco trade.

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