Since 2002, MSIntelligence (MSI) has been an independent agency which provides market research in the field of tobacco.

To this end, we have designed and deployed a methodology with the objective of identifying and quantifying tobacco products which have not been subject to taxation in the country or geographic area studied. These studies have made it possible to assess the extent of certain phenomena such as illicit trade, border flows and even counterfeiting.

This methodology, which is known as the Empty Pack Survey (EPS), consists of collecting empty cigarette packs in the streets and from public trash cans and extracting all of the characteristics that make it possible to determine the legality of the product.

Over time, the results of the EPS surveys have been collated and disseminated to all the organizations and authorities in charge of assessing and combating this illicit market, and they continue to constitute the main basis of this Evaluation.

Since the inception of EPS, MSI has produced more than 1,000 studies in over 100 countries across every continent.

New direction

At present, MSIntelligence is reorganizing itself with its new objectives to be able to offer its consulting and market research services in the very near future.

MSI is now an agency totally independent from the tobacco industry and can apply its know-how to the services of public or private entities which enjoy the same independence and which seek to truly fight against the illicit market of tobacco products and its consequences.

The health, ecological and even fiscal consequences of tobacco and its illicit trade are at the origin of the concerns of most countries and so, it is therefore essential to know how to analyze its mechanisms without creating a conflict of interest.

The significant taxes on tobacco in many countries make illicit trade a very popular orientation for criminal and terrorist organizations, and one which is not likely to decrease in view of the huge profits and low criminal penalties.

Whether the objectives are health, fiscal or environmental, the experience and methodologies of MSIntelligence in the field of tobacco will soon be found to be a valuable asset for all governmental and non-governmental organizations seeking to implement a control strategy.