Tobacco companies have a “documented record in fuelling the illicit trade which makes it easier for children to smoke,” says Director of Fresh, Ailsa Rutter. In the North East work by Fresh, HMRC and trading standards has helped reduce supply and demand.
British tobacco companies are colluding with smugglers to avoid tax by flooding European countries, MPs have warned.
Figures released by anti-smoking organisation Fresh suggest the illicit tobacco market in the North East had halved since the late 1990s.
Anti-smoking organisations today said the blackmarket trade in Newcastle had shrunk with less than one in 10 cigarettes bought on Tyneside found to be counterfeit.
A Conservative MP who is leading a rebellion against plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes is a former tobacco lobbyist and chairs a parliamentary group whose secretariat is provided by two tobacco industry-funded organisations.
The chairman of an influential House of Commons select committee investigating the tobacco trade hosted a parliamentary reception funded by a cigarette giant, the Observer has established.
Anti-smoking lobbyists have welcomed much-delayed government plans to introduce plain cigarette packaging.
Thousands of illegal cigarettes have been seized in St Helens as part of a campaign to tackle rogue traders.
Seven men have been jailed after HM Revenue and Customs smashed a £28million cigarette smuggling ring.
A FORMER greengrocer who turned to illegal cigarettes and alcohol as a more lucrative trade has been order to pay £216,500 within six months or serve a further two and-a-half jail sentence.