New drive in Wiltshire to crack down on illegal tobacco

Illegal cigarettes are on sale all over Wiltshire

Illegal cigarettes are on sale all over Wiltshire

First published in Wiltshire by

A campaign is being launched in Wiltshire today after it was revealed that almost a third of smokers in the county now smoke illegal tobacco.

Smokefree South West has launched the multi-partnership initiative alongside HMRC, Trading Standards, the Police, Crimestoppers and other enforcement partners, Primary Care Trusts and Local Authorities as part of on-going efforts to tackle the illegal tobacco trade in the south west.

HMRC figures show that in 2010 the associated revenue loss caused by illegal tobacco in the UK was estimated to be £2.18bn – today that figure has dropped to £1.86bn. Illegal tobacco, however, remains a serious issue with three in ten smokers in Wiltshire smoking illegal tobacco, which has an equivalent retail value of £211m in the south west region alone.

As part of the on-going campaign pulling together the largest law enforcement organisations in the region, a key aim is to reduce  further the number of people buying and being offered illegal tobacco in the county.

Illegal tobacco brings criminals into communities and into contact with children.
As well as being unregulated, illegal tobacco is often bought at ‘pocket money prices’, selling for less than half the tax-paid price of legally sold tobacco.

This attracts younger smokers and allows those who could otherwise not afford to smoke, to maintain their habit and undermine their attempts to quit.

In Wiltshire, more than one out of two people believe that illegal tobacco poses a real danger to children and six out of 10 illegal tobacco smokers agree that the reduced price of illegal tobacco products allows them to smoke when they otherwise couldn't afford to.

Keith Humphries, Wiltshire council's cabinet member for public health and public protection, said: “We are committed to disrupting the supply of illegal tobacco across the south west and through this initiative we are able to gather intelligence to help us complete this task.

"Businesses should be aware that if illegal tobacco is being sold on their premises you are liable to a range of fines that could strip you of your livelihood.”

Smokefree South West director, Fiona Andrews said: “Significant progress has been made since February 2011 when we first launched the campaign to tackle the problem of illegal tobacco across the South West. Our collective efforts to tackle illegal tobacco are having a big effect, but more can be done.

“The illegal tobacco market in the UK has halved in the last decade but still poses a real and present threat to children and local communities.

“Cigarettes and pouches of hand rolling tobacco are offered to our children at pocket money prices making it cheap and all too easy for our children to smoke and become addicted.

“The only people who benefit from this trade are the criminals who don’t care about what is in the packets they sell. Since illegal tobacco remains part of the range of smuggled and contraband goods traded by criminal gangs it is vital that steady, sustained pressure continues to be applied.”

Wiltshire Council corporate director Maggie Rae said: “Significant progress has been made since February 2011 when this campaign was launched to tackle the problem of illegal tobacco across Wiltshire. Our collective efforts to tackle illegal tobacco are having a big effect, but more can be done.

“The illegal tobacco market in the UK has halved in the last decade but still poses a real and present threat to children and local communities. Cigarettes and pouches of hand rolling tobacco are offered to our children at pocket money prices making it cheap and all too easy for our children to smoke and become addicted.

“The only people who benefit from this trade are the criminals who don’t care about what is in the packets they sell. Since illegal tobacco remains part of the range of smuggled and contraband goods traded by criminal gangs it is vital that steady, sustained pressure continues to be applied.”

Anyone wishing to report the selling of illegal tobacco can report to Trading Standards at www.stop-illegal-tobacco.co.uk or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

To pledge support for the campaign go to www.stop-illegal-tobacco.co.uk

Comments (13)

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7:37pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Mrs Donnyfly says...

The health nazis are on the march, and don't forget to mention the children
The health nazis are on the march, and don't forget to mention the children Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: 0

8:19pm Mon 25 Feb 13

loquax says...

Agreed Mrs Donnyfly, and isn't it wonderful how the sheeple are being trained to police themselves.
I am a non smoker.
Agreed Mrs Donnyfly, and isn't it wonderful how the sheeple are being trained to police themselves. I am a non smoker. loquax
  • Score: 0

8:47pm Mon 25 Feb 13

blackstone says...

I believe the cost of tobacco in Belgium is about £5 per 50 grams,,more like £15 here
If the cost in UK was similar,, there wouldnt be any illegal tobacco
I believe the cost of tobacco in Belgium is about £5 per 50 grams,,more like £15 here If the cost in UK was similar,, there wouldnt be any illegal tobacco blackstone
  • Score: 0

2:43am Tue 26 Feb 13

beetawix says...

Another crackdown. Not had one for 10 days.
Another crackdown. Not had one for 10 days. beetawix
  • Score: 0

6:33am Tue 26 Feb 13

well oill beef hooked says...

If ciggerettes were cheaper here people would not do this.
If ciggerettes were cheaper here people would not do this. well oill beef hooked
  • Score: 0

11:20am Tue 26 Feb 13

HughBriss says...

If these drugs weren't highly addictive, people wouldn't do this.
We need these drug addicts to pay their tobacco tax to alleviate the tax burden caused by their future health problems which everyone, including non-smokers, have to pay for, i.e. to support the NHS.
If these drugs weren't highly addictive, people wouldn't do this. We need these drug addicts to pay their tobacco tax to alleviate the tax burden caused by their future health problems which everyone, including non-smokers, have to pay for, i.e. to support the NHS. HughBriss
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Tue 26 Feb 13

notscot says...

HughBriss wrote:
If these drugs weren't highly addictive, people wouldn't do this.
We need these drug addicts to pay their tobacco tax to alleviate the tax burden caused by their future health problems which everyone, including non-smokers, have to pay for, i.e. to support the NHS.
Hmmm - so, shall we do the same for alcoholics - let's all pay 20 quid a bottle for average plonk? 40-50 quid for an average 75cl of spirits? A fiver per (small) can of lager - a tenner each for bottles of alcopop?
Then the cars.... forty grand for a small family car - to offset the future possibility of costing the NHS for the accidents you may be involved in.
A 50% hike in the cost of ANY foods containing fats or sugars. Don't want the obese getting away with it.
Only hiking the prices for "the good of the nation", of course.
Before we start "grabbing" from the smokers - let's have a look at the dross that REALLY racks up the costs to our country.
Especially at the 4th generation neverintendtowork chavs, low-life dealers, smackheads, wino's etc. who are spending their UNEARNED benefits on cr@p, (when they can be bothered to crawl out of the pig-pits they've made of their benefit-supported homes) and are NEVER going to lift a finger to help or support themselves.
(I expect it will be illegal shortly to even THINK of expecting them to pay the taxes the rest of us have to!)
Because the lunatics are running this asylum.
[quote][p][bold]HughBriss[/bold] wrote: If these drugs weren't highly addictive, people wouldn't do this. We need these drug addicts to pay their tobacco tax to alleviate the tax burden caused by their future health problems which everyone, including non-smokers, have to pay for, i.e. to support the NHS.[/p][/quote]Hmmm - so, shall we do the same for alcoholics - let's all pay 20 quid a bottle for average plonk? 40-50 quid for an average 75cl of spirits? A fiver per (small) can of lager - a tenner each for bottles of alcopop? Then the cars.... forty grand for a small family car - to offset the future possibility of costing the NHS for the accidents you may be involved in. A 50% hike in the cost of ANY foods containing fats or sugars. Don't want the obese getting away with it. Only hiking the prices for "the good of the nation", of course. Before we start "grabbing" from the smokers - let's have a look at the dross that REALLY racks up the costs to our country. Especially at the 4th generation neverintendtowork chavs, low-life dealers, smackheads, wino's etc. who are spending their UNEARNED benefits on cr@p, (when they can be bothered to crawl out of the pig-pits they've made of their benefit-supported homes) and are NEVER going to lift a finger to help or support themselves. (I expect it will be illegal shortly to even THINK of expecting them to pay the taxes the rest of us have to!) Because the lunatics are running this asylum. notscot
  • Score: 1

3:31pm Tue 26 Feb 13

blackstone says...

Well said Notscot
I suppose I am lucky
Am now 75 yrs old ,,been smoking every day since I was 13 yrs old ,and as yet havent cost NHS or DHss more than
probably £2000
Worked nearly every day that I should have done---somedays 30 hrs--most weeks 80hrs
I even paid for my own vasectomy
I have paid "the lunatics" many
Thousand
in taxes
So I think I am entitled to smoke if I want to
Well said Notscot I suppose I am lucky Am now 75 yrs old ,,been smoking every day since I was 13 yrs old ,and as yet havent cost NHS or DHss more than probably £2000 Worked nearly every day that I should have done---somedays 30 hrs--most weeks 80hrs I even paid for my own vasectomy I have paid "the lunatics" many Thousand in taxes So I think I am entitled to smoke if I want to blackstone
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Tue 26 Feb 13

notscot says...

Absolutely, blackstone. You've paid your way - and your dues.
The money raised from taxes on tobacco in the UK is way in excess of what "presumed" smoking-related diseases cost the NHS.
If smoking were "invented" today - it would be banned and on the "A" list of drugs tomorrow.
As long as the govt. is happy to rake in the taxes - they can go on providing any and all health care required by smokers. Any attempt by the Govt. to support any "claw-back" from smokers - like the yearly increase in taxes - is hypocritical. If it IS as bad as is claimed - Ban it.
Absolutely, blackstone. You've paid your way - and your dues. The money raised from taxes on tobacco in the UK is way in excess of what "presumed" smoking-related diseases cost the NHS. If smoking were "invented" today - it would be banned and on the "A" list of drugs tomorrow. As long as the govt. is happy to rake in the taxes - they can go on providing any and all health care required by smokers. Any attempt by the Govt. to support any "claw-back" from smokers - like the yearly increase in taxes - is hypocritical. If it IS as bad as is claimed - Ban it. notscot
  • Score: 0

7:24pm Tue 26 Feb 13

lordbuckethead says...

blackstone wrote:
Well said Notscot
I suppose I am lucky
Am now 75 yrs old ,,been smoking every day since I was 13 yrs old ,and as yet havent cost NHS or DHss more than
probably £2000
Worked nearly every day that I should have done---somedays 30 hrs--most weeks 80hrs
I even paid for my own vasectomy
I have paid "the lunatics" many
Thousand
in taxes
So I think I am entitled to smoke if I want to
A 30hr day - now that is impressive.

I've never managed more than 24 myself.
[quote][p][bold]blackstone[/bold] wrote: Well said Notscot I suppose I am lucky Am now 75 yrs old ,,been smoking every day since I was 13 yrs old ,and as yet havent cost NHS or DHss more than probably £2000 Worked nearly every day that I should have done---somedays 30 hrs--most weeks 80hrs I even paid for my own vasectomy I have paid "the lunatics" many Thousand in taxes So I think I am entitled to smoke if I want to[/p][/quote]A 30hr day - now that is impressive. I've never managed more than 24 myself. lordbuckethead
  • Score: 0

9:02pm Tue 26 Feb 13

blackstone says...

Lordbuckethead
You are saying that I cant do 30hrs
You cant do 24,,,some of them would be at night

Anyway, if you dont know what I mean,,
dont worry,,the other readers do
Lordbuckethead You are saying that I cant do 30hrs You cant do 24,,,some of them would be at night Anyway, if you dont know what I mean,, dont worry,,the other readers do blackstone
  • Score: 0

8:24am Mon 4 Mar 13

SJAnder says...

Oh no.. "Illegal" Tobacco, Poor government can't tax it so they have to pull a two year olds stunt and throw a hissy fit till they get what they want...

Lower the f**king tax on tobacco and then the problem would sort itself out..

I mean really. People are so pathetic..
Oh no.. "Illegal" Tobacco, Poor government can't tax it so they have to pull a two year olds stunt and throw a hissy fit till they get what they want... Lower the f**king tax on tobacco and then the problem would sort itself out.. I mean really. People are so pathetic.. SJAnder
  • Score: 0

8:26am Mon 4 Mar 13

SJAnder says...

BTW GUYS SELLING 50G 4 £6.50

Give me a call, and we'll meet on the Green.

07390051277
BTW GUYS SELLING 50G 4 £6.50 Give me a call, and we'll meet on the Green. 07390051277 SJAnder
  • Score: 0

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