Cigarette counterfeiting worse because of global economic downturn..

July 18, 2009 - Americas Watchdog’s Global Piracy & Counterfeiting Consultants is warning all US and global consumers to not purchase pharmaceuticals or cigarettes on the Internet, unless the consumer can verify the product is coming from the legitimate manufacturer. According to the group, “With the severe global economic downturn, we are expecting counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals & cigarettes to go through the roof in 2009. (Americas Watchdog Warns The World About Chinese Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals & Cigarettes by Thomas Martin, AmericanWatchdog (National Advocacy Group for Consumer Protection and Corporate Fair Play), July 2009)

China seized nearly 2.4 billion counterfeit cigarettes in the first six months of this year nationwide, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) said here Friday. Law enforcement agencies raided 61 large counterfeit cigarette warehouses, rounded up 3,070 people in connection with the counterfeit brands and prosecuted 1,535 of them, said STMA. The agencies also resolved 2,693 cases, each involving a value of more than 50,000 yuan (7,320 U.S. dollars).

China's tobacco industry generated 270 billion yuan in taxes and profits in the first half, according to the STMA.

Last year, 8.3 billion counterfeit cigarettes were seized in the country.

Reference: China seizes 2.4 bln counterfeit cigarettes, Editor: Anne Tang,

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