The illicit trade in tobacco has flourished in the UK over the past fifteen years, causing a considerable loss of sales, revenue and profits to legitimate retailers and wholesalers. To raise awareness of this issue, and help combat smuggling, JTI has published a booklet entitled Tobacco Smuggling, the UK challenge.
Up to 17% of the total UK cigarette market and 54% of the total RYO tobacco market is smuggled . The booklet explains the scale of the problem, why it exists and what can be done about it – the issue is fundamentally a result of high taxation levels, and retailers can play their part in protecting their businesses.
Jeremy Blackburn, JTI’s Head of Communications, says, “Legitimate retailers need to protect their businesses from criminals that steal customers and profit from them on a daily basis – if retailers have information that they think could help, they need to act. Although retailers may not see a direct result of their action, they may have contributed to solving a larger case.”
If retailers believe they have been sold illegal tobacco products or know someone selling them, they should contact either HMRC 0800 59 5000 or JTI on free phone 0800 181 519.
JTI is committed to defending the UK’s responsible retailers, and is working with the Government, HMRC and other tobacco manufacturers to help stamp out this illegal trade and eradicate the profits made by criminals selling smuggled tobacco.
To obtain a copy of the publication retailers can visit www.tobaccoretailing.com from the end of September.
JTI’s UK Trading company is Gallaher Limited