Not so! JCTC refutes Carreras’s claim that cigarette excise is responsible for illicit trade

The Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control (JCTC) notes with interest recent statements by board members of Jamaica’s main tobacco company who assert that government excise duty is fuelling the illicit trade in cigarettes and a consequent decline in its sales.

Yet, according to Carreras Limited’s 2019/2020 first-quarter report, in the first three months up to June 30, 2019, sales grew 10 per cent, and $3.45 billion worth of cigarettes were sold compared to the corresponding period in 2018. In that period, profits increased 12 per cent to $923 million, and the company’s own chairman has stated that profits would have been greater had it not invested in strategic initiatives to bolster growth.