Annual survey said to overestimate illicit cigarettes in some European countries

| December 12, 2013

Researchers say that an annual study overestimates illicit cigarette levels in some European countries and suggests that Philip Morris International’s supply chain control is inadequate, according to a paper published online by Tobacco Control (TC).

Following a legal agreement with the EU, PMI has commissioned from the global accountancy firm KPMG a yearly report, known as Project Star (PS), on what TC described as the European illicit cigarette trade.

The researchers say that PS “overestimates illicit cigarette levels in some European countries and suggests PMI’s supply chain control is inadequate.”

“Its publication serves the interests of PMI over those of the EU and its member states,” they say.

“PS requires greater transparency, external scrutiny and use of independent data.”

The researchers were Anna B. Gilmore, Andy Rowell and Michelle Sims of the Department for Health and U.K. Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, University of Bath, U.K.; Silvano Gallus and Alessandra Lugo of the Department of Epidemiology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy; and Luk Joossens of the Association of the European Cancer Leagues and Foundation Against Cancer, Brussels, Belgium.

The open access paper can be accessed at

Category: Breaking News

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