Presentation on theme: "Illicit Tobacco Steve Brimble Trading Standards Service."— Presentation transcript:
Illicit Tobacco Steve Brimble Trading Standards Service
What is illicit tobacco? Smuggled/bootlegged: Foreign brands brought into the UK avoiding tax. Includes cheap whites – cigarettes aimed specifically at the illicit market e.g. Jin Ling
What is illicit tobacco? Counterfeit (fake): Cheap/low quality cigarettes packed to look like premium UK brands
Is there a problem? Percentage of large-scale Customs tobacco seizures which proved counterfeit: % % % %
Counterfeit Tobacco Smoking Reduction: Cheaper cigarettes = higher consumption A 10% increase in price leads to a 4% drop in tobacco consumption Increasing the price through taxation is the most effective lever in helping smokers to quit and has been found to be more effective with poorer and younger smokers.
Counterfeit Tobacco Health Issues: There are no controls over content in counterfeits Fake cigarettes were found to contain 75% more tar, 28% more nicotine, and 36% more carbon monoxide
Illicit Tobacco and Children Children are more likely to be able to afford cheap cigarettes TSNW 2009 survey revealed: Over 20% of year olds in NW stated they smoke 56% purchase cigarettes with non-UK health warnings 28% knowingly purchased fake cigarettes
Counterfeit Tobacco Other issues: Poor conditions for workers Millions lost in taxes Funds serious organised crime - drugs, people smuggling An illicit tobacco market allows low-level criminality to gain a foothold in a community Undercuts honest traders
Still unconvinced? 64% of people surveyed said that, if it wasn’t for illicit tobacco, they would not be able to afford to smoke 1 in 20 smokers in professional groups admit to buying smuggled tobacco but among poorer smokers the figure rises to 1 in 5 Illicit tobacco is likely to kill four times more people than smuggled illicit drugs
Why an issue? Illicit tobacco makes it more difficult for people to quit Illicit tobacco makes it easier for children to start smoking Children who start smoking are then likely to experience the difficulty of quitting later in life
Offences Trade marks Duty paid marks No UK health warnings
Where are counterfeits sold? Street traders Market stalls Shop premises Pubs Car boot sales Workplaces Internet
How to Identify Counterfeit Cigarettes All the ten boxes in a sleeve will bear the same health warnings - on genuine packs they will vary Circumstances - where are they stored Price Taste
Case Study: Exploits the vulnerable Ice cream man caught selling illicit tobacco to children Case Study: Illicit tobacco makes it easier for kids to smoke Trading Standards uncovered a ‘Tony’s Whippy’ ice cream van selling fake cigarettes and counterfeit DVDs to children in Manchester. After receiving several complaints from members of the public, Tameside Trading Standards and Greater Manchester Police set up a joint operation to catch the culprit in action. They stopped the van while out on its rounds in Ashton-under-Lyne. Upon searching the vehicle they found a large quantity of counterfeit cigarettes and DVDs, including popular kids’ titles such as High School Musical. He was given a 12-month community sentence, ordered to carry out 100 hours’ unpaid work and forced to pay prosecution costs of £604.
Case Study: Illicit tobacco exploits vulnerable young people Schools girls pressured into smuggling trips Youngsters in the North East are being recruited to carry out smuggling missions for organised criminal gangs. Crime bosses behind the operation are preying on vulnerable young girls with the promise of pocket money and an overnight sunshine break in return for trafficking illegal tobacco into the UK. This worrying trend was highlighted by the recent case of four North East schoolgirls, who were caught smuggling more than 200,000 illegal cigarettes back into the UK – estimated to be worth more than £40,000 in excise duty and VAT alone.
Contacts Crimestoppers Consumer Direct For more information on illicit tobacco: For more information on Get Some Answers: