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Greeks turn to contraband

Fewer than 20 billion cigarettes were consumed last year, the lowest amount in a decade

, however purchases of illicit cigarettes rose to 13 per cent, Ekathimerini reported.

 

Some 31 per cent of the adult population smoke regularly, down from 40 to 45 per cent a decade ago, according to data cited by the newspaper on its website. Higher cigarette excise taxes to reduce the government budget deficit may be one reason for the increase in contraband, the newspaper said. Five years ago contraband purchases represented only 2.2 per cent of the total, the newspaper said. (03 June 2013)