Macaron Cigarette Causes Big Revenue Losses for Governments and Tobacco Companies

“Macaron Cigarette Causes Big Revenue Losses for Governments and Tobacco Companies. More importantly, it also threatens public health: New Headache!” by Hasan Alsancak


Only in September 2019, Istanbul Police Anti-smuggling and Organized Crimes (KOM) team seized 800 thousand sticks full/charged and 11 million hollow macaron cigarettes.


What is Macaron? It is an empty filter cigarette tube ready to fill it with loose tobacco.


Macarons are being manufactured in Turkey with the license of cigarette and tobacco regulatory authority TAPDK. Selling or buying macaron is legal in many countries, including Turkey. But selling macarons after filing sticks with tobacco is illegal since it becomes a filter cigarette.


Its price is considerably low even to compare illicit cigarettes. Therefore there is considerable potential of macaron cigarettes in countries that have high cigarette tax regimes and low-income rates. However, even in the luxury areas of Istanbul, there are tobacco shops selling macaron cigarettes because they are cheap!


In spite of the high demand for a macaron, the use of illicit cigarettes is still very high in cities neighboring the border, such as Van province, which borders Iran. It is because illegal cigarettes and tobacco products are easily found in the market at very competitive prices.


Law enforcement agencies should strictly follow the macaron cigarette sector because it causes significant tax revenue loss for governments.  To the experts, the Turkish government lost 5-10 Billion Turkish Lira tax revenue because of macarons.



Macaron cigarette producers are planning to get 14% of the cigarette market in Turkey. It is a vast volume and will cause considerable revenue losses both for government and tobacco companies. 


It is a new trend in the World and increasing everywhere. In the last three years, its use reached from 10% to 20% in Greece, from %36 to 50% in Brazil, from 38% to 56% in Malaysia and from 22% to 62% in Pakistan.


The macaron should be also on the radar screen of tobacco companies equally important with illicit cigarette trade because it causes revenue loss for them too. Contraband macaron’s already becoming a part of international smuggling is a clear indicator of its potential in illegal cigarettes and tobacco.


More importantly, macaron cigarettes are also threatening public health since the content in its sticks is not being controlled by any authorities at all.  Because all given reasons government authorities should closely monitor the macaron sector and set clear standards for its use.  


Please visit our Anti-illicit Trade page to see Prosecure AIT Teams’ capabilities on fighting illicit cigarettes and illegal tobacco.

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