Tobacco manufacturers have once again united in a summer campaign to raise holiday-goers’ awareness of the penalties associated with selling foreign tobacco in the UK.
A high-profile advertising campaign running at five leading UK airports, plus Dover ferry port, explains that reselling tobacco purchased abroad is a criminal offence punishable by up to seven years in jail.
The five airport locations for the 2016 advertising campaign are:
• Heathrow T5
Giles Roca, director general of the Tobacco Manufacturers Association (TMA) said:
“As people head abroad for their summer holidays, we are taking this opportunity to remind them with this new campaign that it is illegal to bring back tobacco from overseas and then sell it on in the UK.
“Reselling tobacco bought overseas is not a victimless crime. This practice affects many hard-working independent shopkeepers who are deprived of legitimate tobacco sales and related footfall.
“This year we are also extending the reach of the campaign to include those leaving by ferry by covering the country’s busiest port at Dover. Our advice is simple; don’t be tempted.”
This is the third year of the TMA’s advertising campaign at UK airports. The campaign began in 2014 at Glasgow and Edinburgh airports. In 2015, Heathrow, Cardiff and Aberdeen were added. This year the campaign has been further extended to include Dover, the world’s busiest passenger port.
HM Revenue & Customs estimate that smuggled tobacco cost the taxpayer £2.1bn in 2014/15.