Illegal tobacco is a shared problem for the government, industry & society
It threatens retailers’ livelihoods
Criminals target children with illegal tobacco
It contains unregulated ingredients
Funding criminal activity, harming communities
It costs the government money that could be reinvested into society
Keep up to the date with the very latest tweets and new articles about the fight against illegal tobacco.

Latest News
ITV - Tyne Tees
April 25, 2017 3:06 pm GMT
ITV - Meridian
April 25, 2017 1:48 pm GMT
Forecourt Trader
April 21, 2017 1:59 pm GMT
2BR
April 21, 2017 12:19 pm GMT
Big Issue - Opinion
April 20, 2017 3:15 pm GMT
Tobacco smugglers are landing daily at an airport near you. Watch our video... and if you Suspect it? then Report it! by phoning the
HMRC Hotline on:
0800 59 5000

THE FACTS
The Government loses money which could fund extra teachers and police officers
Illegal tobacco and cross border shopping costs the UK government over £40 million a week in lost revenue2
Imagine the other amenities this could fund in your community
Retailers’ livelihoods are threatened
Illicit tobacco cost UK shops around 3.4 Billion in lost revenue in 2014-151
On average, small and local shops lost around £30k each1
1 in 8 corner shops face closure as a result of illegal tobacco5
Illegal tobacco contains unregulated ingredients
Illegal tobacco is entirely unregulated, and has been found to contain ingredients like dust, rat droppings and asbestos4
Illicit trade is a criminal activity
Illegal tobacco is big business, yet compared to the consequences of drug smuggling, the sentences for those convicted of selling it are minute.
Criminals can make around3 -
£6,500 per car load of illegal tobacco
£65,000 per white van load
£1.1m per container lorry load
The UK is a hotbed for illicit tobacco. In 2014, illegal tobacco and cross border shopping represented approximately:
1 in 6 cigarette sales6
2 in 5 roll your own sales2
One in three UK adult smokers now purchase illegal tobacco from pubs, market stalls and car boot sales3
High tobacco prices play into criminals’ hands
UK adult smokers pay £9.16 on average for a pack of cigarettes, the second highest figure in Europe behind Norway1
Tobacco duty has risen by 40% in the last five years1, driving up RRPs
Tax accounts for 80% of the price of a pack of cigarettes1
What are we doing about it?
Imperial Tobacco’s dedicated anti-illicit trade team collaborates with customs authorities worldwide
Imperial tobacco has assisted in over 1120 seizures across 239 towns & cities in the UK over the past two years
Imperial and its tobacco industry partners have collaborated on new digital tools to help separate genuine products from counterfeits
About Suspect it? Report it!
The UK is a hotbed for illicit tobacco. It threatens retailers’ livelihoods, damages communities and costs the Government billions in lost taxes. For years, Imperial Tobacco has been instrumental in the fight against illegal tobacco - both nationally and internationally. In 2013, our “Suspect it? Report it!” campaign was launched to illustrate the dangers of illegal tobacco by focusing on the repercussions it has on local trade, society and government.

The initiative continues to build momentum and achieve success on a national level. Imperial tobacco has assisted in over 1120 seizures across 239 towns & cities in the UK over the past two years - while the "Suspect It? Report It!" campaign continued to gather momentum through a series of adverts across the UK trade press. (A number of which you can view/download below.)
Thanks to continued collaboration between enforcement bodies across the globe, 2017 promises to be a landmark year in the fight against the trade in illicit tobacco. In the UK, HMRC recently launched a review into sanctions for those convicted of illegal tobacco-related wrongdoings. This latest consultation is seeking views on additional sanctions. These potentially include:

- Increasing financial penalties for repeat offenders
- A new civil penalty for dealing in illicit tobacco
- Reducing the threshold for the publication of details of those deliberately evading duty
- Statutory Duty of Care on landlords and landowners of properties or land.

The closing date for comments is 12th May 2017.
Working together to fight the illicit trade. Suspect it? Report it! aims to:
INCREASE
Awareness and knowledge of various Anti-Illicit Trade initiatives
INITIATE
A drive to combat illicit trade across industry and society
INTRODUCE
A programme to up-skill colleagues, develop AIT champions and increase intelligence gathering
IMPROVE
Co-operation and partnership - working with stakeholders inc. the trade, Government, enforcement bodies and media
INFLUENCE
Current perceptions, including the idea that illegal tobacco is ‘a victimless crime’
Latest Suspect it? Report it! Advert
Contact Us

Please download the digital version of our poster. If you would like to receive one of our AIT packs, please ask your Imperial rep. If you don’t receive a rep visit, please use the contact form to request a pack.





To find out more about the Suspect it? Report it! campaign, please contact us. Please note this form is not intended as a means of submitting intelligence about suspected illegal tobacco activity.

Instead, if you have any information relating to illicit tobacco in your area - or wish to report suspected illegal tobacco activity - contact HMRC on:
0800 59 5000

To learn more about the reporting of tobacco duty evasion, visit the Gov.uk website

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