"Like other forms of illicit trade, the illicit trade in tobacco products, commonly referred to as cigarette smuggling, is a growing threat to U.S. national interests. Internationally, it fuels transnational crime, corruption, and terrorism. As it converges with other criminal activities it undermines the rule of law and the licit market economy, and creates greater insecurity and instability in many of today's security "hot spots" around the world. Illicit tobacco provides a significant revenue stream to illicit actors without the high risks and punishments associated with trafficking in narcotics or humans."
U.S. Department of State: http://www.state.gov/