Forgotten Public Health Risk of Illegal Tobacco

ACS has called on Ministers and Public Health professionals to make tackling the illegal tobacco trade their number one priority. ACS’ comments come as a report by the Home Affairs Select Committee has revealed the scale of the illegal tobacco market and the resulting problems facing communities.

The report reiterates the fact that more than one third of the hand rolling tobacco, and one in ten of the cigarettes, consumed in the UK are either contraband, counterfeit or illicit. Over one billion illegal cigarettes were consumed, and these not only carry no duty, but no control for ingredients, or controls on who they are sold to.

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: “This report highlights the scale of the forgotten problem of our national and local tobacco control strategies. Ministers, campaigners and even local public health professionals have become so preoccupied with the case for and against standardised packaging that the problem of the illegal trade is being largely ignored. We welcome the light that MPs have shone on this issue. We hope it will provoke Ministers into action.

“We are disappointed that MPs did not look at the recommendations we made about enforcement action targeted within local communities at those selling these illegal products. We need a new enforcement strategy that ensures that those unscrupulous sellers that thrive in our most deprived communities are caught and dealt with. Without this they will continue to sell their products free from fear of sanction to whomever they choose.

“We will continue to press for concerted enforcement action targeted within the communities that need it most.”

ACS comments are made in response to the report of the Home Affairs Select Committee into tobacco smuggling which was released today

This entry was posted by Chris on Mon, 16/06/2014 - 09:00