Declining Tobacco Industry in Russia: Impact of Counterfeit Cigarettes


Russia’s tobacco production index declines 18% by September 2023 due to rising counterfeit cigarettes, causing economic losses of $500 million.

According to the news from Fontanka on November 8, statistics show that as of September 2023, the tobacco production index in Russia stood at 82%, marking a year-on-year decrease of 18%.

It is worth mentioning that the decline in the tobacco industry became evident earlier this year, with the proliferation of counterfeit cigarettes being one of the main contributing factors.

According to data from the Russian state statistics office, the average price of cigarettes rose by 7 rubles in the first three quarters of 2023. This increase in cigarette prices has led consumers to turn towards the counterfeit tobacco market.

According to estimates, approximately 21 million counterfeit cigarette packs are believed to circulate on the black market in Russia each year, resulting in a loss of approximately 46 billion rubles (equivalent to $500 million) for the Russian treasury in the first half of 2023.

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