Presence of Counterfeit Marlboro Gold Packs in Licensed Retail Stores in New York City: Evidence from Test Purchases

Marin Kurti, Yi He, Diana Silver, Margaret Giorgio, Klaus Von Lampe, James MacInko, Hua Ye, Fidelis Tan, Victoria Mei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: There are no independent studies measuring the availability of premium brand counterfeit cigarettes in New York City from licensed retailers. Methods: We forensically analyzed the cigarette packaging of Marlboro Gold (n = 1021) purchased from licensed tobacco retailers in New York City, using ultraviolet irradiation and light microscopy to determine whether they were counterfeit. Results: We find that while only 0.5% (n = 5) of our sample exhibits at least one characteristic synonymous with counterfeit packaging, none of our packs can be conclusively classified as counterfeit. Conclusions: We do not find any counterfeit Marlboro Gold packs purchased at full price from licensed cigarette retailers throughout New York City. Future research using test purchases should include other venues (eg, street and online) and specifically ask for discounts to ascertain the overall presence of counterfeit cigarettes. Implications: This is the first study to independently measure the availability of counterfeit cigarette packs purchased at full price from licensed retailers in New York City. We find that none of the Marlboro Gold packs purchased from licensed cigarette retailers are counterfeit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1131-1134
Number of pages4
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Volume21
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - May 21 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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