You can get a counterfeit version of almost anything in Miami. Apparently even cigarettes. Tobacco giant Philip Morris has filed suit against 17 Miami-area retailers for stocking fake cigarettes. We all know that the stuff in the name-brand smokes will kill you. We can't imagine what kind of stuff is in the knockoffs.
Philip Morris, which manufactures brands such as Marlboro, says Miami is one of the top three markets in America for counterfeit smokes. The company believes that more than one million packs of fake Marlboros are sold in Miami-Dade each year.
The fake cigarettes are often manufactured in China, and it's believed the sale of the cigs benefits black-market organizations that have ties to everything from terrorism to drug smuggling. Taxes are also usually not paid on the sale of the faux-branded smokes.
"The sale of counterfeit cigarettes is a developing issue in south Florida resulting in significant lost revenue for the state and Miami in a time when these funds are sorely needed," Jose Luis Murillo, a spokesman for Morris's parent company, said in a statement.
You can view a list of the locations targeted here. They range from Miami Beach to Hialeah.
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