Could the EU breaking from PMI Be a Sign of Things to Come?

The European Union has decided to end its longtime partnership with Philip Morris International. The controversial $1.255 billion partnership was initially set up in order to combat the issue of tobacco smuggling in the free-flowing continent. Many perceived this partnership to be unnecessary legitimization of a corrupt industry by the EU.


Now, finally, the EU has decided to wise up to this colossal mistake in judgment.


The Financial Times consulted tobacco control expert Luk Joossens, who has been lobbying against the EU working with tobacco companies for years. He said that, “There is always suspicion from other countries because the EU collaborates with the industries.”


He is right, and hopefully this move is a sign of things to come. The EU should know that collaborating with tobacco companies to “fight” issues within their industry is profoundly counterproductive. And such counter measures end up costing the European taxpayers billions at their own expense.


I expect and hope that the EU will continue to down the path they have started and reject working with companies- especially tobacco companies- to regulate their own industry. Among the EU’s first prerogatives should be to avoid any conflict of interest.


That goes well for Codentify. As we know, Codentify is a deeply flawed system that was actually developed by the tobacco companies themselves. Not only is their involvement an issue, but the technology itself is dramatically subpar, and will do nothing to prevent more smuggling. If anything, it might just increase it (and the companies will benefit).


Cigarette smuggling has been a major issue in Europe for some time. Not only is there a major circumvention of tax revenue through illegal sales, but the lack of monitoring can prove harmful for the average smoker, since no government officially oversaw the ingredients in the cigarette.

The EU has long been considering Codentify as their new mandated track-and-trace system for smuggling. Many tried to counter the controversy by pointing to its recent sale to Enexto, which some claim to be a legitimate third party.



But, alas, this is only a front to keep the power in the hands of the tobacco industry.



At any rate, it’s incumbent on the EU to reject Codentify outright and find a more suitable-and neutral-track and trace system to regulate tobacco smuggling. And these new signs of the EU backing off from Big Tobacco are a sight for sore eyes.



Let’s hope the EU pushes the envelope, and rejects capitulation to Big Tobacco. With that, European citizens can be secure in the fight against illicit cigarette sales.


0 thoughts on “Could the EU breaking from PMI Be a Sign of Things to Come?

  1. Totally agree with this article. As many people smoke there has to be a close eye on ingredients in cigarettes and if they’re not monitored well it could be devastating.

  2. Nobody is condemning Tobacco smuggling but I think if the governments played fair then people would be able to buy cigarettes at a decent cost instead of them taking advantage of people’s addictions by putting up the prices every time they please.How would they raise that amount of tax if everyone stopped smoking tomorrow? they should treat the smoker with more dignity as they are paying for some single mom to feed her children.

  3. No good things come from government bodies associating with industry forces. There is always a conflict of interest, and industry always wins, to the detriment of society.

  4. Every nation has its own issues and struggle in doing business, taxes, and all kind of things. Now, I know that EU has a major concern with cigarette smuggling. Thanks to your article as this is an eye opener. Hope EU will tighten their securities and monitoring in this cigarette business.

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