The situation has reached critical levels in border areas, the association pointed out.

Its head Kestutis Kupsys says a recent empty cigarette pack survey showed that every fifth smoked cigarette had been smuggled.

"Despite the economy growing and people earning more, nevertheless, it's obvious that the level of shadow economy remains high. Rising tobacco prices are bringing more revenue to smugglers, and the shadow in the Lithuanian tobacco market is the third largest players," Kupsys said in a statement.

In his words, the situation is critical in border areas. For example, in the southern county of Alytus, one new point of sale involves 678 people (and 25 news point emerged here last year), and a new points of sale in the southern city of Marijampole involved 529 people (23 new points).

Meanwhile, in Vilnius County, one new point of sales serves 1,747 people, and their number exceeds 800. 46 new points of sales emerged here over a year.

The recent survey by research company Nielsen showed that every fifth cigarettes smoked in Lithuania had been smuggled, with the smuggling scope having reached 21.3 percent by late 2019.

The survey also showed that contraband cigarettes made 16.8 percent of all smoked cigarettes in Latvia and 9.9 percent in Estonia.