'Fresh approach' is needed to tackle illegal tobacco

Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh (Smoke Free North-East)

Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh (Smoke Free North-East)

First published in News

HEALTH campaigners have called for a pioneering approach launched in the North-East in 2009 to tackle illegal tobacco to be rolled out nationally following the publication of a report by MPs.

The Home Affairs Committee report calls for better co-operation between enforcement teams fighting the illicit trade such as HMRC, trading standards and police - work which has been happening in the North-East and North-West since 2009 as part of the "North of England Tackling Illicit Tobacco for Better Health Partnership".

The report also states that any opportunities for criminals after the introduction of plain packaging of cigarettes could be curbed by better tracking and tracing of illegal tobacco in the revised EU Tobacco Products Directive, due to be implemented by 2016.

Since 2009, work in the North-East to tackle illegal tobacco has seen the market decline from around 15 per cent of the market in 2009 down to 9 per cent in 2013,

This has resulted in 52,000 fewer illegal tobacco smokers and 242 million fewer illegal cigarettes smoked, worth about £67 million in duty.

Despite the success in the North-East the overall number of arrests, prosecutions and convictions for organised tobacco smuggling have fallen nationally in the last three years.

Committee chairman Keith Vaz said: "It is a matter of grave concern that, despite an increase in the resources over the last three years the numbers of arrests, prosecutions and convictions for organised crime cases involving tobacco have all fallen.

"It is vital that there is no reduction in enforcement action."

Earlier this year Fresh, with Tobacco Free Futures and Smoke Free South West launched the national Tackling Illicit Tobacco for Better Health Partnership which brings together experts from HMRC, health and trading standards from the North-East and North-West, Yorkshire and the South-West to tackle supply and demand.

Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh, said: "This report makes it pretty clear that effective joined-up work across organisations like trading standard and HMRC can help drive further reductions in the illegal tobacco market and remove opportunities for criminals to profit from ill health.

"The report also pours water on the tobacco industry’s claims that that removing glossy brands from tobacco will lead to an increase in illicit trade.

"We firmly believe the committee chairman Keith Vaz should now look at how this approach can be rolled out nationally to compliment the excellent work nationally and internationally to fight this trade.

“Credit goes to our local authorities who with HMRC have played a vital role in tackling local supply in areas where illicit sales have been identified as a problem – closing down the local illegal supply chain, warning dealers that sales will not be tolerated.”

Comments (28)

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8:09am Wed 18 Jun 14

Graeme_r says...

Another example of the misguided thinking that plain packaging will lead to reduced levels of smoking. Plain packaging will be a godsend to this illegal trade, it will be a lot easier to forge a huge range of brands when there is only variation on a much smaller area of the packs.
Another example of the misguided thinking that plain packaging will lead to reduced levels of smoking. Plain packaging will be a godsend to this illegal trade, it will be a lot easier to forge a huge range of brands when there is only variation on a much smaller area of the packs. Graeme_r
  • Score: 3

1:15pm Wed 18 Jun 14

bambara says...

Graeme_r wrote:
Another example of the misguided thinking that plain packaging will lead to reduced levels of smoking. Plain packaging will be a godsend to this illegal trade, it will be a lot easier to forge a huge range of brands when there is only variation on a much smaller area of the packs.
Not so Greame_r, as has been found in Australia where they have introduced plain packaging. It is far easier to identify illegal tobacco when all the legal products have plain packaging, and the illegal product does not.
It has also been seen that the people lobbying heavily to stop plain packaging are the tobacco companies.
Big tobbaco is willing to spend a lot of money to stop or delay this. It is bad for their sales so they will do whatever they can to stop it.
What will happen is what has already happened in Australia, big tobacco will flood other coutries in the vicinity with additional product in the knowledge that it will be bought to be smuggled.
[quote][p][bold]Graeme_r[/bold] wrote: Another example of the misguided thinking that plain packaging will lead to reduced levels of smoking. Plain packaging will be a godsend to this illegal trade, it will be a lot easier to forge a huge range of brands when there is only variation on a much smaller area of the packs.[/p][/quote]Not so Greame_r, as has been found in Australia where they have introduced plain packaging. It is far easier to identify illegal tobacco when all the legal products have plain packaging, and the illegal product does not. It has also been seen that the people lobbying heavily to stop plain packaging are the tobacco companies. Big tobbaco is willing to spend a lot of money to stop or delay this. It is bad for their sales so they will do whatever they can to stop it. What will happen is what has already happened in Australia, big tobacco will flood other coutries in the vicinity with additional product in the knowledge that it will be bought to be smuggled. bambara
  • Score: -5

7:15am Thu 19 Jun 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

bambara wrote:
Graeme_r wrote:
Another example of the misguided thinking that plain packaging will lead to reduced levels of smoking. Plain packaging will be a godsend to this illegal trade, it will be a lot easier to forge a huge range of brands when there is only variation on a much smaller area of the packs.
Not so Greame_r, as has been found in Australia where they have introduced plain packaging. It is far easier to identify illegal tobacco when all the legal products have plain packaging, and the illegal product does not.
It has also been seen that the people lobbying heavily to stop plain packaging are the tobacco companies.
Big tobbaco is willing to spend a lot of money to stop or delay this. It is bad for their sales so they will do whatever they can to stop it.
What will happen is what has already happened in Australia, big tobacco will flood other coutries in the vicinity with additional product in the knowledge that it will be bought to be smuggled.
Not so Bambara. Australia is already being flooded with fake cigarettes, some evem have a larger market share than some legal brands. Smoking rates also went up, not down, in the year following plain pack.

It has been a complete failiure.

The tobacco companies are lobbying against it because ot removes their property rights, bars new product developement, removes the distinction between budget and premium brands and pushes people towards cheaper brands.

Not because it reduces smoking, as it doesn't.

A 'fresh' approach to tackling smuggling would be to ditch the plain packs idea and tax cigs at a reasonable rate. If people could afford fags legally, they wouldn't go to man in a van. Smuggling would go down, people would buy legally and the tax cut would go up.

I've never seen a tobacco controller admit a policy mistake though. Their mortgages depend on more of the same so the taxpayers money keeps on rolling into their bank accounts.
[quote][p][bold]bambara[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Graeme_r[/bold] wrote: Another example of the misguided thinking that plain packaging will lead to reduced levels of smoking. Plain packaging will be a godsend to this illegal trade, it will be a lot easier to forge a huge range of brands when there is only variation on a much smaller area of the packs.[/p][/quote]Not so Greame_r, as has been found in Australia where they have introduced plain packaging. It is far easier to identify illegal tobacco when all the legal products have plain packaging, and the illegal product does not. It has also been seen that the people lobbying heavily to stop plain packaging are the tobacco companies. Big tobbaco is willing to spend a lot of money to stop or delay this. It is bad for their sales so they will do whatever they can to stop it. What will happen is what has already happened in Australia, big tobacco will flood other coutries in the vicinity with additional product in the knowledge that it will be bought to be smuggled.[/p][/quote]Not so Bambara. Australia is already being flooded with fake cigarettes, some evem have a larger market share than some legal brands. Smoking rates also went up, not down, in the year following plain pack. It has been a complete failiure. The tobacco companies are lobbying against it because ot removes their property rights, bars new product developement, removes the distinction between budget and premium brands and pushes people towards cheaper brands. Not because it reduces smoking, as it doesn't. A 'fresh' approach to tackling smuggling would be to ditch the plain packs idea and tax cigs at a reasonable rate. If people could afford fags legally, they wouldn't go to man in a van. Smuggling would go down, people would buy legally and the tax cut would go up. I've never seen a tobacco controller admit a policy mistake though. Their mortgages depend on more of the same so the taxpayers money keeps on rolling into their bank accounts. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 7

12:27pm Thu 19 Jun 14

MikeSmash says...

BuckoTheMoose

I see that your blog carries an advert for the tobacco industry funded 'Hands off our packs' campaign.

Perhaps you should declare your conflict of interests before posting comments?
BuckoTheMoose I see that your blog carries an advert for the tobacco industry funded 'Hands off our packs' campaign. Perhaps you should declare your conflict of interests before posting comments? MikeSmash
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Thu 19 Jun 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

MikeSmash wrote:
BuckoTheMoose

I see that your blog carries an advert for the tobacco industry funded 'Hands off our packs' campaign.

Perhaps you should declare your conflict of interests before posting comments?
The Hands off our Packs campaign is run by Forest, the smokers rights group. They have had some donation from tobacco and have declared it.
Why should the tobacco industry not offer voluntary donations to a group who supports people who choose to use their products?

I have no funding from the tobacco industry (unfortunately) and neither does my blog.

No conflict of interest here at all. Like most supporters of Forest and HOOP, I'm simply a tobacco user who is tired of the lies and bullying from the Tobacco Control Industry.
[quote][p][bold]MikeSmash[/bold] wrote: BuckoTheMoose I see that your blog carries an advert for the tobacco industry funded 'Hands off our packs' campaign. Perhaps you should declare your conflict of interests before posting comments?[/p][/quote]The Hands off our Packs campaign is run by Forest, the smokers rights group. They have had some donation from tobacco and have declared it. Why should the tobacco industry not offer voluntary donations to a group who supports people who choose to use their products? I have no funding from the tobacco industry (unfortunately) and neither does my blog. No conflict of interest here at all. Like most supporters of Forest and HOOP, I'm simply a tobacco user who is tired of the lies and bullying from the Tobacco Control Industry. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 3

1:21pm Thu 19 Jun 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

MikeSmash wrote:
BuckoTheMoose

I see that your blog carries an advert for the tobacco industry funded 'Hands off our packs' campaign.

Perhaps you should declare your conflict of interests before posting comments?
And I forgot to mention, Fresh, Tobacco Free Futures and Smoke Free South West, along with many other tobacco control 'charities', receive the bulk of their funding from taxpayers money.

You never hear them declaring THAT before commenting.
[quote][p][bold]MikeSmash[/bold] wrote: BuckoTheMoose I see that your blog carries an advert for the tobacco industry funded 'Hands off our packs' campaign. Perhaps you should declare your conflict of interests before posting comments?[/p][/quote]And I forgot to mention, Fresh, Tobacco Free Futures and Smoke Free South West, along with many other tobacco control 'charities', receive the bulk of their funding from taxpayers money. You never hear them declaring THAT before commenting. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: -2

4:19pm Thu 19 Jun 14

MikeSmash says...

Bucko
The groups you mention are clearly health related groups.

Hands off our packs and Forest are funded by the tobacco industry.

You carry their advert on your blog, and seem to swallow tobacco industry propaganda without question.

If you're going to spread their propaganda, you should declare that your blog carries their advert. You are not an ordinary person, you are involved in promoting tobacco sponsored activity.
Bucko The groups you mention are clearly health related groups. Hands off our packs and Forest are funded by the tobacco industry. You carry their advert on your blog, and seem to swallow tobacco industry propaganda without question. If you're going to spread their propaganda, you should declare that your blog carries their advert. You are not an ordinary person, you are involved in promoting tobacco sponsored activity. MikeSmash
  • Score: 2

4:49pm Thu 19 Jun 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

MikeSmash wrote:
Bucko
The groups you mention are clearly health related groups.

Hands off our packs and Forest are funded by the tobacco industry.

You carry their advert on your blog, and seem to swallow tobacco industry propaganda without question.

If you're going to spread their propaganda, you should declare that your blog carries their advert. You are not an ordinary person, you are involved in promoting tobacco sponsored activity.
I am an ordinary person who speaks out against tobacco control propaganda. Which YOU swallow without question.

I have no need or desire to declare anything, and quite frankly, that's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a while. And I hear a lot of ridiculous things from the tobacco control industry.
[quote][p][bold]MikeSmash[/bold] wrote: Bucko The groups you mention are clearly health related groups. Hands off our packs and Forest are funded by the tobacco industry. You carry their advert on your blog, and seem to swallow tobacco industry propaganda without question. If you're going to spread their propaganda, you should declare that your blog carries their advert. You are not an ordinary person, you are involved in promoting tobacco sponsored activity.[/p][/quote]I am an ordinary person who speaks out against tobacco control propaganda. Which YOU swallow without question. I have no need or desire to declare anything, and quite frankly, that's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a while. And I hear a lot of ridiculous things from the tobacco control industry. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: -1

5:23pm Thu 19 Jun 14

MikeSmash says...

But the thing is Bucko, you DO seem to spend an awful lot of your time spreading tobacco industry propaganda, and your blog DOES advertise tobacco industry funded campaigns.

I don't think that makes you an 'ordinary' person.
But the thing is Bucko, you DO seem to spend an awful lot of your time spreading tobacco industry propaganda, and your blog DOES advertise tobacco industry funded campaigns. I don't think that makes you an 'ordinary' person. MikeSmash
  • Score: 1

5:49pm Thu 19 Jun 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

MikeSmash wrote:
But the thing is Bucko, you DO seem to spend an awful lot of your time spreading tobacco industry propaganda, and your blog DOES advertise tobacco industry funded campaigns.

I don't think that makes you an 'ordinary' person.
Tobacco industry propaganda?
Tobacco industry funded?

Disagreeing with plain packs for the reasons I stated above is not propaganda, it's a simple statement of fact.
Just because I hold certain views on smoking, property rights and freedom to choose, does not mean I'm spreading propaganda, it means I hold those views.

Is the only counter argument you have, to try and claim I'm some sort of tobacco company stooge? Can you not debate the facts without repeating 'tobacco propaganda', 'tobacco funding' ad infinitum?

You sound just like the tobacco control groups in the article. No facts, no debate, just smear tactics.
[quote][p][bold]MikeSmash[/bold] wrote: But the thing is Bucko, you DO seem to spend an awful lot of your time spreading tobacco industry propaganda, and your blog DOES advertise tobacco industry funded campaigns. I don't think that makes you an 'ordinary' person.[/p][/quote]Tobacco industry propaganda? Tobacco industry funded? Disagreeing with plain packs for the reasons I stated above is not propaganda, it's a simple statement of fact. Just because I hold certain views on smoking, property rights and freedom to choose, does not mean I'm spreading propaganda, it means I hold those views. Is the only counter argument you have, to try and claim I'm some sort of tobacco company stooge? Can you not debate the facts without repeating 'tobacco propaganda', 'tobacco funding' ad infinitum? You sound just like the tobacco control groups in the article. No facts, no debate, just smear tactics. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: -2

11:50am Fri 20 Jun 14

MikeSmash says...

Thanks bucko, and you come across as one of the usual tobacco industry mouthpieces that flock to discussions like this on the Northern Echo.

You haven't brought 'facts' to this thread, just the usual propaganda.
Thanks bucko, and you come across as one of the usual tobacco industry mouthpieces that flock to discussions like this on the Northern Echo. You haven't brought 'facts' to this thread, just the usual propaganda. MikeSmash
  • Score: 1

12:40pm Fri 20 Jun 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

And you sound like a typical public health stooge. Completely incapable of debating, just dismissing everything you don't agree with as tobacco industry funded propaganda.

You've offered nothing at all to counter my statement about the performance of plain pack in Australia (Taken from the governments own figures). All you've done is shout 'tobacco funded' and 'propaganda'.

You've offered no data, no evidence, nothing. Just dismissal.

Well done
And you sound like a typical public health stooge. Completely incapable of debating, just dismissing everything you don't agree with as tobacco industry funded propaganda. You've offered nothing at all to counter my statement about the performance of plain pack in Australia (Taken from the governments own figures). All you've done is shout 'tobacco funded' and 'propaganda'. You've offered no data, no evidence, nothing. Just dismissal. Well done BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 1

12:51pm Fri 20 Jun 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

"Thanks bucko, and you come across as one of the usual tobacco industry mouthpieces that flock to discussions like this on the Northern Echo."

Flock? I wasn't aware two people commenting constitutes a flock.

LOL!
"Thanks bucko, and you come across as one of the usual tobacco industry mouthpieces that flock to discussions like this on the Northern Echo." Flock? I wasn't aware two people commenting constitutes a flock. LOL! BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: -2

1:32pm Fri 20 Jun 14

MikeSmash says...

We are used to the tobacco industry mouthpieces from freedom2choose posting propaganda here.

By the way, you seem to be from the north west, well out of Northern Echo territory, like most of the others seem to be.

And you only seem to have offered this discussion tobacco industry propaganda - no facts.
We are used to the tobacco industry mouthpieces from freedom2choose posting propaganda here. By the way, you seem to be from the north west, well out of Northern Echo territory, like most of the others seem to be. And you only seem to have offered this discussion tobacco industry propaganda - no facts. MikeSmash
  • Score: 1

4:43pm Fri 20 Jun 14

bambara says...

BuckoTheMoose wrote:
bambara wrote:
Graeme_r wrote: Another example of the misguided thinking that plain packaging will lead to reduced levels of smoking. Plain packaging will be a godsend to this illegal trade, it will be a lot easier to forge a huge range of brands when there is only variation on a much smaller area of the packs.
Not so Greame_r, as has been found in Australia where they have introduced plain packaging. It is far easier to identify illegal tobacco when all the legal products have plain packaging, and the illegal product does not. It has also been seen that the people lobbying heavily to stop plain packaging are the tobacco companies. Big tobbaco is willing to spend a lot of money to stop or delay this. It is bad for their sales so they will do whatever they can to stop it. What will happen is what has already happened in Australia, big tobacco will flood other coutries in the vicinity with additional product in the knowledge that it will be bought to be smuggled.
Not so Bambara. Australia is already being flooded with fake cigarettes, some evem have a larger market share than some legal brands. Smoking rates also went up, not down, in the year following plain pack. It has been a complete failiure. The tobacco companies are lobbying against it because ot removes their property rights, bars new product developement, removes the distinction between budget and premium brands and pushes people towards cheaper brands. Not because it reduces smoking, as it doesn't. A 'fresh' approach to tackling smuggling would be to ditch the plain packs idea and tax cigs at a reasonable rate. If people could afford fags legally, they wouldn't go to man in a van. Smuggling would go down, people would buy legally and the tax cut would go up. I've never seen a tobacco controller admit a policy mistake though. Their mortgages depend on more of the same so the taxpayers money keeps on rolling into their bank accounts.
Yes Australia is indeed being flooded with illegal tobacco, and that illegal tobacco is supplied into the markets of coutries surrounding Australia by the companies who have oppossed plain packaging at every turn.
The tobacco companies are supplying far more into those markets in the knowledge that it will be smuggled.
But on the positive side, Australia now finds it much easier to identify illegal product and the track down and arrest the suppliers.
The tobacco companies will, and indeed have for many years used any and all tactics to protect their profits, however many people their product kills, however many lives they ruin.
They will fight every step of the way against any attempt to reduce smoking rates. This is just another element of that. The lies, deceit, lobbying, and the attempts to hide the links to cancer, heart disease, and many other ill effects have been funded by the tobacco industry and going on for decades.
The attacks on plain packaging and the lies pushed by the tobacco industry claiming it doesn't work are just the latest incarnation of that.
The following links show that the claims that smoking went up following introduction of plain packaging in Australia, are indeed lies, and are nothing more than tobacco industry propaganda.

http://www.theguardi
an.com/world/2014/ju
n/18/australian-medi
cal-association-accu
ses-the-australian-o
f-promoting-smoking

http://www.abc.net.a
u/mediawatch/transcr
ipts/s4026465.htm

http://www.who.int/f
eatures/2013/austral
ia_tobacco_packaging
/en/

A really "fresh" approach to smuggling would be to impose a charge on the tobacco companies for each illegal pack seized in the country equal to the full duty level, and to charge them for the cost of the dispossal of their illegal product as toxic waste.
[quote][p][bold]BuckoTheMoose[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bambara[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Graeme_r[/bold] wrote: Another example of the misguided thinking that plain packaging will lead to reduced levels of smoking. Plain packaging will be a godsend to this illegal trade, it will be a lot easier to forge a huge range of brands when there is only variation on a much smaller area of the packs.[/p][/quote]Not so Greame_r, as has been found in Australia where they have introduced plain packaging. It is far easier to identify illegal tobacco when all the legal products have plain packaging, and the illegal product does not. It has also been seen that the people lobbying heavily to stop plain packaging are the tobacco companies. Big tobbaco is willing to spend a lot of money to stop or delay this. It is bad for their sales so they will do whatever they can to stop it. What will happen is what has already happened in Australia, big tobacco will flood other coutries in the vicinity with additional product in the knowledge that it will be bought to be smuggled.[/p][/quote]Not so Bambara. Australia is already being flooded with fake cigarettes, some evem have a larger market share than some legal brands. Smoking rates also went up, not down, in the year following plain pack. It has been a complete failiure. The tobacco companies are lobbying against it because ot removes their property rights, bars new product developement, removes the distinction between budget and premium brands and pushes people towards cheaper brands. Not because it reduces smoking, as it doesn't. A 'fresh' approach to tackling smuggling would be to ditch the plain packs idea and tax cigs at a reasonable rate. If people could afford fags legally, they wouldn't go to man in a van. Smuggling would go down, people would buy legally and the tax cut would go up. I've never seen a tobacco controller admit a policy mistake though. Their mortgages depend on more of the same so the taxpayers money keeps on rolling into their bank accounts.[/p][/quote]Yes Australia is indeed being flooded with illegal tobacco, and that illegal tobacco is supplied into the markets of coutries surrounding Australia by the companies who have oppossed plain packaging at every turn. The tobacco companies are supplying far more into those markets in the knowledge that it will be smuggled. But on the positive side, Australia now finds it much easier to identify illegal product and the track down and arrest the suppliers. The tobacco companies will, and indeed have for many years used any and all tactics to protect their profits, however many people their product kills, however many lives they ruin. They will fight every step of the way against any attempt to reduce smoking rates. This is just another element of that. The lies, deceit, lobbying, and the attempts to hide the links to cancer, heart disease, and many other ill effects have been funded by the tobacco industry and going on for decades. The attacks on plain packaging and the lies pushed by the tobacco industry claiming it doesn't work are just the latest incarnation of that. The following links show that the claims that smoking went up following introduction of plain packaging in Australia, are indeed lies, and are nothing more than tobacco industry propaganda. http://www.theguardi an.com/world/2014/ju n/18/australian-medi cal-association-accu ses-the-australian-o f-promoting-smoking http://www.abc.net.a u/mediawatch/transcr ipts/s4026465.htm http://www.who.int/f eatures/2013/austral ia_tobacco_packaging /en/ A really "fresh" approach to smuggling would be to impose a charge on the tobacco companies for each illegal pack seized in the country equal to the full duty level, and to charge them for the cost of the dispossal of their illegal product as toxic waste. bambara
  • Score: 0

6:49pm Fri 20 Jun 14

spragger says...

It is recognised that almost 1 in 2 ciggies bought in the Boro are illegal .Often stuffed with downright dangerous agents, even more so than tobacco

The two major reasons for this business to take off & further grow are:
- Excessive taxation of ciggies making it worth importing from eastern europe

- Plain package will help this growth as the illegal ones will look exactly the same as the legal ones. The struggled to do the glossy official ones

Lions led by donkeys(& do gooder socialists)
It is recognised that almost 1 in 2 ciggies bought in the Boro are illegal .Often stuffed with downright dangerous agents, even more so than tobacco The two major reasons for this business to take off & further grow are: - Excessive taxation of ciggies making it worth importing from eastern europe - Plain package will help this growth as the illegal ones will look exactly the same as the legal ones. The struggled to do the glossy official ones Lions led by donkeys(& do gooder socialists) spragger
  • Score: -1

12:20am Sat 21 Jun 14

behonest says...

"A really "fresh" approach to smuggling would be to impose a charge on the tobacco companies for each illegal pack seized in the country"

And if counterfeit money is seized then a charge should be imposed on the Bank of England, because they are the ones that produce real money?

I've never heard such nonsense. Well, except for when I read bambarmy's posts that is.

I agree with bucko the moose and spragger. If counterfeiters can copy main brand cigarette packets, then I'm sure they can copy plain packets even more effectively. And if I was a smoker (which I'm not) I would have no guilt about buying counterfeit cigarettes, rather than pay the ridiculous tax-crazy prices imposed by successive governments.
It's easy for non-smokers to have no sympathy, but smoking is legal (quite rightly) and in low income areas like the North East smokers are obviously going to be tempted to buy tobacco at reasonable prices, rather than pay the disgracefully high-tax prices imposed by politicians.
"A really "fresh" approach to smuggling would be to impose a charge on the tobacco companies for each illegal pack seized in the country" And if counterfeit money is seized then a charge should be imposed on the Bank of England, because they are the ones that produce real money? I've never heard such nonsense. Well, except for when I read bambarmy's posts that is. I agree with bucko the moose and spragger. If counterfeiters can copy main brand cigarette packets, then I'm sure they can copy plain packets even more effectively. And if I was a smoker (which I'm not) I would have no guilt about buying counterfeit cigarettes, rather than pay the ridiculous tax-crazy prices imposed by successive governments. It's easy for non-smokers to have no sympathy, but smoking is legal (quite rightly) and in low income areas like the North East smokers are obviously going to be tempted to buy tobacco at reasonable prices, rather than pay the disgracefully high-tax prices imposed by politicians. behonest
  • Score: 1

11:59am Sat 21 Jun 14

Robert_ says...

Give them all free fags, let all the smokers smoke themselves to death. No NHS care.
Give them all free fags, let all the smokers smoke themselves to death. No NHS care. Robert_
  • Score: -5

1:43pm Sat 21 Jun 14

behonest says...

Robert_ wrote:
Give them all free fags, let all the smokers smoke themselves to death. No NHS care.
No chance of that, pal. The government would lose the vast net tax profit that they make on smokers.
[quote][p][bold]Robert_[/bold] wrote: Give them all free fags, let all the smokers smoke themselves to death. No NHS care.[/p][/quote]No chance of that, pal. The government would lose the vast net tax profit that they make on smokers. behonest
  • Score: 3

6:24pm Sat 21 Jun 14

bambara says...

Be-disingenous -
The illegal packs are not counterfeit, they are the real thing produced by the tobacco companies and sold into other markets. They sell them into markets in coutries where they know that they are being bought by smugglers. This has been proven in Australia. It is these smuggled originals that the companies would be fined for, not "counterfeits".

Plain packets will be no easier to counterfeit, the "plain packaging" is not in fact plain, it simply does not include any company branding. They do not include the company advertising, colours and branding. Plain packaging will include health warnings, images of smoking related diseases, and security features to help identify illegal product.

The lie that plain packaging will be easy to counterfeit, is just another tobacco industry propaganda attempt. As with the lies and faked/dodgy research used to muddy the waters and hide the truth in the past,and a lie that the right wing activists seem all too happy to repeat.
Be-disingenous - The illegal packs are not counterfeit, they are the real thing produced by the tobacco companies and sold into other markets. They sell them into markets in coutries where they know that they are being bought by smugglers. This has been proven in Australia. It is these smuggled originals that the companies would be fined for, not "counterfeits". Plain packets will be no easier to counterfeit, the "plain packaging" is not in fact plain, it simply does not include any company branding. They do not include the company advertising, colours and branding. Plain packaging will include health warnings, images of smoking related diseases, and security features to help identify illegal product. The lie that plain packaging will be easy to counterfeit, is just another tobacco industry propaganda attempt. As with the lies and faked/dodgy research used to muddy the waters and hide the truth in the past,and a lie that the right wing activists seem all too happy to repeat. bambara
  • Score: -1

7:13pm Sat 21 Jun 14

spragger says...

bambara wrote:
Be-disingenous -
The illegal packs are not counterfeit, they are the real thing produced by the tobacco companies and sold into other markets. They sell them into markets in coutries where they know that they are being bought by smugglers. This has been proven in Australia. It is these smuggled originals that the companies would be fined for, not "counterfeits".


Plain packets will be no easier to counterfeit, the "plain packaging" is not in fact plain, it simply does not include any company branding. They do not include the company advertising, colours and branding. Plain packaging will include health warnings, images of smoking related diseases, and security features to help identify illegal product.

The lie that plain packaging will be easy to counterfeit, is just another tobacco industry propaganda attempt. As with the lies and faked/dodgy research used to muddy the waters and hide the truth in the past,and a lie that the right wing activists seem all too happy to repeat.
Counterfeit cigarettes are Counterfeit
https://reportingpro
ject.net/underground
/index.php?option=co
m_content&view=artic
le&id=9:chinas-marlb
oro-country&catid=3:
stories&Itemid=22
http://www.pmi.com/e
ng/tobacco_regulatio
n/illicit_trade/page
s/counterfeit.aspx
http://www.independe
nt.co.uk/news/uk/cri
me/counterfeit-cigar
ettes-smoking-out-th
e-bandits-2364611.ht
ml
http://www.irishexam
iner.com/ireland/fea
rs-gangs-to-produce-
counterfeit-cigarett
es-in-ireland-257524
.html
No evidence at all they are 'produced by tobacco companies & sold into other markets'
That appears to be a wish to slander those companies, the result of a fevered mind
[quote][p][bold]bambara[/bold] wrote: Be-disingenous - The illegal packs are not counterfeit, they are the real thing produced by the tobacco companies and sold into other markets. They sell them into markets in coutries where they know that they are being bought by smugglers. This has been proven in Australia. It is these smuggled originals that the companies would be fined for, not "counterfeits". Plain packets will be no easier to counterfeit, the "plain packaging" is not in fact plain, it simply does not include any company branding. They do not include the company advertising, colours and branding. Plain packaging will include health warnings, images of smoking related diseases, and security features to help identify illegal product. The lie that plain packaging will be easy to counterfeit, is just another tobacco industry propaganda attempt. As with the lies and faked/dodgy research used to muddy the waters and hide the truth in the past,and a lie that the right wing activists seem all too happy to repeat.[/p][/quote]Counterfeit cigarettes are Counterfeit https://reportingpro ject.net/underground /index.php?option=co m_content&view=artic le&id=9:chinas-marlb oro-country&catid=3: stories&Itemid=22 http://www.pmi.com/e ng/tobacco_regulatio n/illicit_trade/page s/counterfeit.aspx http://www.independe nt.co.uk/news/uk/cri me/counterfeit-cigar ettes-smoking-out-th e-bandits-2364611.ht ml http://www.irishexam iner.com/ireland/fea rs-gangs-to-produce- counterfeit-cigarett es-in-ireland-257524 .html No evidence at all they are 'produced by tobacco companies & sold into other markets' That appears to be a wish to slander those companies, the result of a fevered mind spragger
  • Score: 1

7:49pm Sat 21 Jun 14

LUSTARD says...

behonest wrote:
"A really "fresh" approach to smuggling would be to impose a charge on the tobacco companies for each illegal pack seized in the country"

And if counterfeit money is seized then a charge should be imposed on the Bank of England, because they are the ones that produce real money?

I've never heard such nonsense. Well, except for when I read bambarmy's posts that is.

I agree with bucko the moose and spragger. If counterfeiters can copy main brand cigarette packets, then I'm sure they can copy plain packets even more effectively. And if I was a smoker (which I'm not) I would have no guilt about buying counterfeit cigarettes, rather than pay the ridiculous tax-crazy prices imposed by successive governments.
It's easy for non-smokers to have no sympathy, but smoking is legal (quite rightly) and in low income areas like the North East smokers are obviously going to be tempted to buy tobacco at reasonable prices, rather than pay the disgracefully high-tax prices imposed by politicians.
no guilt about buying counterfiet tobbaco, well i watched a programme telling the public that whilst the english popular rolling tobbaco company provides the uk with a uk sanctioned / controlled product, ie whats exactly in it. its a different strength /make up for say spains or belgiums market, a lot stronger.so when its smuggled back your getting it half the price but it will kill you twice as quick. that may suit certain quarters of society as its getting rid ofthe dregs they know buys it and upping the profits of the funeral directors who are lapping it up big style.
[quote][p][bold]behonest[/bold] wrote: "A really "fresh" approach to smuggling would be to impose a charge on the tobacco companies for each illegal pack seized in the country" And if counterfeit money is seized then a charge should be imposed on the Bank of England, because they are the ones that produce real money? I've never heard such nonsense. Well, except for when I read bambarmy's posts that is. I agree with bucko the moose and spragger. If counterfeiters can copy main brand cigarette packets, then I'm sure they can copy plain packets even more effectively. And if I was a smoker (which I'm not) I would have no guilt about buying counterfeit cigarettes, rather than pay the ridiculous tax-crazy prices imposed by successive governments. It's easy for non-smokers to have no sympathy, but smoking is legal (quite rightly) and in low income areas like the North East smokers are obviously going to be tempted to buy tobacco at reasonable prices, rather than pay the disgracefully high-tax prices imposed by politicians.[/p][/quote]no guilt about buying counterfiet tobbaco, well i watched a programme telling the public that whilst the english popular rolling tobbaco company provides the uk with a uk sanctioned / controlled product, ie whats exactly in it. its a different strength /make up for say spains or belgiums market, a lot stronger.so when its smuggled back your getting it half the price but it will kill you twice as quick. that may suit certain quarters of society as its getting rid ofthe dregs they know buys it and upping the profits of the funeral directors who are lapping it up big style. LUSTARD
  • Score: 3

7:24pm Sun 22 Jun 14

bambara says...

"A peer-reviewed study has found that, far from the industry being a victim of smuggling, there are credible allegations that it has been complicit in facilitating illegal trade in its products."

" industry claims that the use of illicit cigarettes in the UK was sharply increasing were "wholly inconsistent" with historical trends and recent independent data."

" There is growing evidence that the tobacco companies are still involved in the illicit trade. There is evidence of significant overproduction of cigarettes in markets such as Ukraine and Belarus and we know these excess cigarettes end up in the illegal market."

Quotes from here :- http://www.theguardi
an.com/politics/2014
/mar/30/tobacco-ciga
rette-smuggling-scar
e-plain-packs

And "Some tobacco firms oversupply other European countries and the surplus enters the UK tax-free, the PAC said."

"the HMRC had "failed to challenge properly those UK tobacco manufacturers who turn a blind eye to the avoidance of UK tax by supplying more of their products to European countries than the legitimate market in those countries could possibly require".

"The tobacco then finds its way back into the UK market without tax being paid," she added. "The supply of some brands of hand-rolling tobacco to some countries in 2011 exceeded legitimate demand by 240%.

"HMRC must be more assertive with these manufacturers. So far it has not fined a single one of them," she said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/business-24469
588

spragger debunked (again)
"A peer-reviewed study has found that, far from the industry being a victim of smuggling, there are credible allegations that it has been complicit in facilitating illegal trade in its products." " industry claims that the use of illicit cigarettes in the UK was sharply increasing were "wholly inconsistent" with historical trends and recent independent data." " There is growing evidence that the tobacco companies are still involved in the illicit trade. There is evidence of significant overproduction of cigarettes in markets such as Ukraine and Belarus and we know these excess cigarettes end up in the illegal market." Quotes from here :- http://www.theguardi an.com/politics/2014 /mar/30/tobacco-ciga rette-smuggling-scar e-plain-packs And "Some tobacco firms oversupply other European countries and the surplus enters the UK tax-free, the PAC said." "the HMRC had "failed to challenge properly those UK tobacco manufacturers who turn a blind eye to the avoidance of UK tax by supplying more of their products to European countries than the legitimate market in those countries could possibly require". "The tobacco then finds its way back into the UK market without tax being paid," she added. "The supply of some brands of hand-rolling tobacco to some countries in 2011 exceeded legitimate demand by 240%. "HMRC must be more assertive with these manufacturers. So far it has not fined a single one of them," she said. http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/business-24469 588 spragger debunked (again) bambara
  • Score: 0

10:36pm Sun 22 Jun 14

behonest says...

If tobacco firms are meeting demand in low-tax countries then that is up to them and, I suspect, perfectly legal.

If individuals or groups buying lower tax cigs in these countries then bring them over here, in higher amounts than the HMRC limits, then that is a matter for UK law enforcement, not cigarette companies supplying Europe.
It's understandable that some people will do this, given the huge tax charges imposed in this country. But it's typical of our politicians that they try and pass the enforcement buck, rather than take responsibility.
If tobacco firms are meeting demand in low-tax countries then that is up to them and, I suspect, perfectly legal. If individuals or groups buying lower tax cigs in these countries then bring them over here, in higher amounts than the HMRC limits, then that is a matter for UK law enforcement, not cigarette companies supplying Europe. It's understandable that some people will do this, given the huge tax charges imposed in this country. But it's typical of our politicians that they try and pass the enforcement buck, rather than take responsibility. behonest
  • Score: 2

9:35am Mon 23 Jun 14

bambara says...

behonest wrote:
If tobacco firms are meeting demand in low-tax countries then that is up to them and, I suspect, perfectly legal.

If individuals or groups buying lower tax cigs in these countries then bring them over here, in higher amounts than the HMRC limits, then that is a matter for UK law enforcement, not cigarette companies supplying Europe.
It's understandable that some people will do this, given the huge tax charges imposed in this country. But it's typical of our politicians that they try and pass the enforcement buck, rather than take responsibility.
Except the tobacco companies are not meeting local demand, they are deliberately over-supplying the market to facilitate smuggling.

Lets supply an analogy for you, if a company in the USA were to deliberately over supply a market with technology or arms in the knowledge that the surplus product would then be sold on to a foreign power where it would be illegal to supply that product, then the company would be subject to very strict enforcement action by the USA.
The company itself may never have any direct dealings with the illegal market, but they are knowingly and deliberately supplying it, by providing product in excess of the legitimate local demand. The are at least complicit in the illegal trade, and from what I have read I am given to understand that evidence exists that they are indeed be directly linked to it.
So by introducing a fine for illegally imported product which directly impacts the manufacturers of those product, you remove the financial benefit for them in oversupply of the illegal market. Any additional profit garnered from supply of the illegal market would be lost in fines when the illegal product is seized. The fact that duty in this country is higher than the profit from the market they oversupply is a reasonable way to counter additional profits from the product that escapes the customs and actually gets into the country.
[quote][p][bold]behonest[/bold] wrote: If tobacco firms are meeting demand in low-tax countries then that is up to them and, I suspect, perfectly legal. If individuals or groups buying lower tax cigs in these countries then bring them over here, in higher amounts than the HMRC limits, then that is a matter for UK law enforcement, not cigarette companies supplying Europe. It's understandable that some people will do this, given the huge tax charges imposed in this country. But it's typical of our politicians that they try and pass the enforcement buck, rather than take responsibility.[/p][/quote]Except the tobacco companies are not meeting local demand, they are deliberately over-supplying the market to facilitate smuggling. Lets supply an analogy for you, if a company in the USA were to deliberately over supply a market with technology or arms in the knowledge that the surplus product would then be sold on to a foreign power where it would be illegal to supply that product, then the company would be subject to very strict enforcement action by the USA. The company itself may never have any direct dealings with the illegal market, but they are knowingly and deliberately supplying it, by providing product in excess of the legitimate local demand. The are at least complicit in the illegal trade, and from what I have read I am given to understand that evidence exists that they are indeed be directly linked to it. So by introducing a fine for illegally imported product which directly impacts the manufacturers of those product, you remove the financial benefit for them in oversupply of the illegal market. Any additional profit garnered from supply of the illegal market would be lost in fines when the illegal product is seized. The fact that duty in this country is higher than the profit from the market they oversupply is a reasonable way to counter additional profits from the product that escapes the customs and actually gets into the country. bambara
  • Score: 1

5:00pm Mon 23 Jun 14

behonest says...

The Guardian:
"HMRC did plan to launch a project to test how well manufacturers were preventing the oversupply of tobacco products to high-risk countries such as Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
But during the planning stage HMRC realised that UK officials could not exercise their powers in another country in that way and the project was scrapped."
So HMRC may enforce the ripping off of smokers in the UK with the disgracefully high tax levels imposed by the British government, but it's clearly not as easy for HMRC to operate overseas and get other countries to play ball in this great UK tax rip-off.

And it cannot be right (and I suspect illegal under EU law, at least) for companies acting legally to be fined for the acts of others acting illegally. It would be very difficult for HMRC to make such fines stick, hopefully, as the companies targetted would challenge them. UK politicians may want HMRC to get them even more smoking tax revenues, from such fines, but it's clearly not that easy.
The Guardian: "HMRC did plan to launch a project to test how well manufacturers were preventing the oversupply of tobacco products to high-risk countries such as Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. But during the planning stage HMRC realised that UK officials could not exercise their powers in another country in that way and the project was scrapped." So HMRC may enforce the ripping off of smokers in the UK with the disgracefully high tax levels imposed by the British government, but it's clearly not as easy for HMRC to operate overseas and get other countries to play ball in this great UK tax rip-off. And it cannot be right (and I suspect illegal under EU law, at least) for companies acting legally to be fined for the acts of others acting illegally. It would be very difficult for HMRC to make such fines stick, hopefully, as the companies targetted would challenge them. UK politicians may want HMRC to get them even more smoking tax revenues, from such fines, but it's clearly not that easy. behonest
  • Score: 1

8:31pm Mon 23 Jun 14

bambara says...

behonest wrote:
The Guardian:
"HMRC did plan to launch a project to test how well manufacturers were preventing the oversupply of tobacco products to high-risk countries such as Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
But during the planning stage HMRC realised that UK officials could not exercise their powers in another country in that way and the project was scrapped."
So HMRC may enforce the ripping off of smokers in the UK with the disgracefully high tax levels imposed by the British government, but it's clearly not as easy for HMRC to operate overseas and get other countries to play ball in this great UK tax rip-off.

And it cannot be right (and I suspect illegal under EU law, at least) for companies acting legally to be fined for the acts of others acting illegally. It would be very difficult for HMRC to make such fines stick, hopefully, as the companies targetted would challenge them. UK politicians may want HMRC to get them even more smoking tax revenues, from such fines, but it's clearly not that easy.
Except that when those companies are complicit in the illegal actions the government can itself fight the case and look to impose punitive fines for those illegal actions.
If this simply comes down to a matter of law, then the UK government has an ace card, it can change the law.
By knowingly over-supplying grey markets the tobacco companies are complicit in the smuggling.
By using their global presence to attempt to subvert the laws of this country the tobacco companies are attempting to undermine the power and authority of the democratically elected government.

It is the democratically elected government of the United Kingdom which defines if and how they are allowed to operate in the United Kingdom, if they choose to attempt to deliberately undermine the rules laid down by the government of the UK, then they should and indeed must face prosecution and financial penalties as a result.
[quote][p][bold]behonest[/bold] wrote: The Guardian: "HMRC did plan to launch a project to test how well manufacturers were preventing the oversupply of tobacco products to high-risk countries such as Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. But during the planning stage HMRC realised that UK officials could not exercise their powers in another country in that way and the project was scrapped." So HMRC may enforce the ripping off of smokers in the UK with the disgracefully high tax levels imposed by the British government, but it's clearly not as easy for HMRC to operate overseas and get other countries to play ball in this great UK tax rip-off. And it cannot be right (and I suspect illegal under EU law, at least) for companies acting legally to be fined for the acts of others acting illegally. It would be very difficult for HMRC to make such fines stick, hopefully, as the companies targetted would challenge them. UK politicians may want HMRC to get them even more smoking tax revenues, from such fines, but it's clearly not that easy.[/p][/quote]Except that when those companies are complicit in the illegal actions the government can itself fight the case and look to impose punitive fines for those illegal actions. If this simply comes down to a matter of law, then the UK government has an ace card, it can change the law. By knowingly over-supplying grey markets the tobacco companies are complicit in the smuggling. By using their global presence to attempt to subvert the laws of this country the tobacco companies are attempting to undermine the power and authority of the democratically elected government. It is the democratically elected government of the United Kingdom which defines if and how they are allowed to operate in the United Kingdom, if they choose to attempt to deliberately undermine the rules laid down by the government of the UK, then they should and indeed must face prosecution and financial penalties as a result. bambara
  • Score: -3

12:53pm Tue 24 Jun 14

RealLivin says...

The issue is the muppets running this country for over half a century still haven't got a clue, creating the market for illegal substances by banning or taxing products it is not the way (khat has just been banned with a loss of millions of £ in tax, not sure what it is exactly but this was against advice from medical and drug experts). If tobacco was taxed at the same level as alcohol the illegal market would diminish (not go away), but the place to hit smokers (and drinkers, druggies) is in the health side. Bill them when ever they need treatment for related issues then they will realise their social pleasures will cost them more than just their lives. Like the gun lobby in the US tobacco firms know their products kill and dont care as long as they are making profit and their are enough idiots out there who are happy to oblige in this long term suicide.
The issue is the muppets running this country for over half a century still haven't got a clue, creating the market for illegal substances by banning or taxing products it is not the way (khat has just been banned with a loss of millions of £ in tax, not sure what it is exactly but this was against advice from medical and drug experts). If tobacco was taxed at the same level as alcohol the illegal market would diminish (not go away), but the place to hit smokers (and drinkers, druggies) is in the health side. Bill them when ever they need treatment for related issues then they will realise their social pleasures will cost them more than just their lives. Like the gun lobby in the US tobacco firms know their products kill and dont care as long as they are making profit and their are enough idiots out there who are happy to oblige in this long term suicide. RealLivin
  • Score: 0

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