Illicit tobacco trade

Since 1994 Luk Joossens advised the World Bank, the European Commission, the World Health Organisation, the US Surgeon General, the Finnish government, the Belgian government, the UK Presidency, the International Union against Cancer, the Association of European Cancer Leagues, the Framework Convention Alliance and the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use about illicit tobacco trade.  He represented Belgium in the International Conference on Illicit Tobacco Trade (ICITT) at the United Nations in New York City from July 30 to August 1, 2002 and made more than 100 presentations on illicit tobacco trade in 50 countries. 

He was one of the rapporteurs of the WHO expert group on illicit tobacco trade, “Elaboration of a template for a protocol on illicit trade in tobacco products”, which was the discussion text during the first round of the negotiations on the illicit tobacco trade FCTC protocol in February 2008.

1.     Joossens L. Raw M. Smuggling and cross-border shopping of tobacco in Europe, BMJ 1995; 310: 1393-7.

2.     Joossens L. Raw M. Cigarette smuggling in Europe, who really benefits? Tobacco Control 1998;7: 66-71.

3.     Joossens L. Improving public health through an international framework convention on tobacco control. Technical briefing series, Paper 2, World Health Organization, 1999.

4.     Joossens L. Merriman D., Yurekli A, and Chaloupka F. Issues in the smuggling of tobacco products.  Chapter 16, Jha P, and Chaloupka F. (eds) Tobacco Control Policies in Developing Countries, Oxford University Press, 2000.

5.     Joossens L, From public health to international law, possible protocols for inclusion in the Framework Convention on Tobacco ControlBulletin of the World Health Organisation 2000 vol.78, no.7, 930-937.

6.     Joossens L. Raw M. How can cigarette smuggling be reduced? BMJ 2000;321:947-50

7.     Joossens L. Raw M. Turning off the tap: the real solution to cigarette smuggling, Int J Tuberc Lung Dis, 2003; 7: 214-222. 

8.     Joossens L. The cigarette “transit” road to the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq Illicit tobacco trade in the Middle East. World Health Organisation, 2003.

9.     Joossens L. Report on smuggling control in Spain, World Health Organisation, 2003

10.  Joossens L, Vietnam: smuggling ads value, Tobacco Control, 2003;12: 119-120.

11.  WHO expert group on illicit tobacco trade, Elaboration of a template for a protocol on illicit trade in tobacco products, World Health Organization, Geneva, 2007. (one of the four rapporteurs).

12.  Arnott D, Joossens L, Bianco E, Assunta M, Ogwell A. Smuggling treaty could reduce tobacco toll, The Lancet, 371, 458-60, February 9, 2008.

13.  Joossens L, Raw M. Progress in combating cigarette smuggling: controlling the supply chain, Tobacco control, 2008; 17:399-404.

14.  West R, Townsend J, Joossens L, Arnott D. Lewis S, Why combating tobacco smuggling is a priority, BMJ 2008; 337: 1028-29.

15.  Heydari G, Sharifi H, Masjedi MR, Ramezankhani  A, Joossens L  What kind of cigarettes do smokers use in Tehran? Tanaffos Journal 2009;8:54–8.

16.  Joossens L, Merriman D., Ross H., Raw M. The impact of eliminating the global illicit cigarette trade on health revenue. Addiction 2010; 105: 1640–95.

17.  Heydari G, Tafti S, Telischi F, Joossens L, Hosseini M, Masjedi M, Ghafari M, Prevalence of smuggled and foreign cigarette use in Tehran, 2009, Tob Control 2010;19:5 380-382doi:10.1136/tc.2009.033191

18.  Titeca K, Joossens L, Raw M, Blood cigarettes: cigarette smuggling and war economies in eastern and central Africa, Tobacco Control 2011; 20:226-232

19.  Moodie C, Hastings G, Joossens L, Young adult smokers’ perceptions of illicit tobacco and the possible impact of plain packaging on purchase behaviour, Eur J Public Health 2011; doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckr038

20.  Joossens L, Raw M, From cigarette smuggling to illicit tobacco trade, Tobacco Control 2012; 21:230-4.

21.  Joossens L, Lugo A, La Vecchia C, Gilmore A, Clancy L, Gallus S, Illicit cigarettes and hand rolled tobacco in 18 European countries: a cross-sectional survey. Tobacco control, 2012, in press. Published Online First: 10 December 2012 doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050644

22.  Joossens L, Gilmore A, The transnational tobacco companies’ strategy to promote Codentify, their inadequate tracking and tracing standard, Tobacco Control, 2013, accepted for publication.


          Reports on illicit tobacco trade include 

1.     Joossens L, Merriman D, Ross H, Raw M, How eliminating the global illicit cigarette trade would increase revenue and save lives. Paris: International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease; 2009.

2. Joossens L, Deliverable 5.2, Illicit tobacco trade in Europe: issues and solutions. Pricing Policies and Control of Tobacco in Europe, 2011. 


3.  Joossens L, Smuggling, the tobacco industry and plain Packs, Cancer Research UK, London, November  2012.