What is illegal tobacco? Click to get info
The term illegal tobacco covers a range of tobacco products being sold illegally in the UK. This includes counterfeit cigarettes (illegally manufactured and sold products, which may have been made to look like a genuine brand), foreign brands illegally smuggled into the UK, as well as genuine cigarettes brought in duty-free which are then sold on illegally. Duty will not have been paid on these products, and they are likely not to comply with UK safety and packaging requirements.
Since January 2017, Waltham Forest Council have seized over 24,300 illegal cigarettes (1,215 packets), 1.83kg of rolling tobacco and 29.62kg of oral tobacco from local shops.
Why is illegal tobacco a problem? Click to get info
- Selling illegal tobacco is a crime. The illegal tobacco trade has strong links with both low-level and large-scale organised crime and criminal gangs. Many of the people smuggling, distributing and selling it are involved in drug dealing, money laundering, people trafficking and even terrorism. Children and young people are often targeted by people who sell illegal cigarettes, making it even easier for them to get hooked on smoking, damaging their health. The illegal tobacco trade undermines efforts to restrict the sale of tobacco products, including preventing children and young people from buying these products.
- The availability of illegal cigarettes can also make it harder for people to quit and remain smoke free.
How can you help? Click to get info
If you suspect that illegal tobacco is being sold in your area, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or visit www.londontradingstandards.org.uk/report-consumer-crime