• May 26, 2024

Illegal trade targeted

 Illegal trade targeted

The trade association representing the UK tobacco industry yesterday launched a campaign targeting the illegal tobacco trade across some of the busiest transport hubs in the UK, key transports routes in and out of the country and online.

‘The campaign which builds on previous TMA [UK] activities seeks to challenge the flows of non-UK duty paid tobacco from known high-risk routes into the UK which is then sold on illegally in a variety of ways,’ said a TMA press note.

‘Research shows that this ranges from simply selling on to friends and family or by more sophisticated means such as through the use of retailers, social media and community websites.

‘The TMA is therefore extending its campaign activities to focus on such online platforms used for the sale of illegal tobacco as well as known transport routes used to bring non-UK duty paid tobacco into the UK.’

The campaign, which will run during the summer, will target, for instance, airports, ports, international coaches, websites and social media platforms.

The TMA said it was advising adult consumers to adhere to the government guidelines and only bring tobacco into the UK for personal use, because the consequences for doing otherwise could be severe.

And it said it was advising smokers not to buy illicit tobacco products from online sources because in doing so they could be aiding organised crime.

“As people travel to and from the continent over the summer holidays, we are taking this opportunity to remind them with this new campaign that it is illegal to bring back tobacco from overseas and then sell it on in the UK,” said Giles Roca, director general of the TMA.

“Reselling tobacco bought overseas is not a victimless crime. This practice affects many hard-working independent shopkeepers who are deprived of legitimate tobacco sales and related footfall.”