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CDC Report: Preventing and Reducing Illicit Tobacco Trade in the United States (CDC)

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report to provide a brief assessment of illicit tobacco trade in the United States and options at different levels of government for preventing and reducing these tax avoidance and evasion activities.

The report highlights a number of proven measures to reduce tax avoidance and evasion including:

  • Prioritizing and coordinating enforcement efforts; increasing penalties for those caught engaging in illicit tobacco trade;
  • Harmonizing tobacco taxes across jurisdictions by setting minimum tax rates;
  • Increasing control over the supply chain through licensing, adopting new technologies such as encrypted tax stamps, and implementing a tracking-and-tracing system, and;
  • Educating the public about the consequences of illicit tobacco markets and providing mechanisms for consumers to report violators.

The more comprehensive and coordinated approached have been more effective in addressing this problem. A collaborative, comprehensive approach at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels could similarly reduce the US illicit tobacco trade problem and strengthen existing and future comprehensive tobacco prevention and control work.

Read the full CDC report here.