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, the 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 with loose tobacco.


Macarons are manufactured in Turkiye with the cigarette and tobacco regulatory authority TAPDK license. Selling or buying macaron is legal in many countries, including Turkiye. 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, macaron cigarettes have considerable potential in countries with high cigarette tax regimes and low income rates. However, even in the luxury areas of Istanbul, tobacco shops sell macaron cigarettes because they are cheap!


Despite 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. This 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.  According to the experts, the Turkish government lost 5-10 Billion Turkish Lira in tax revenue because of macarons.


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


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


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


More importantly, macaron cigarettes threaten public health since authorities do not control the content in their sticks.  Because of all the 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 in fighting illicit cigarettes and illegal tobacco.

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