JTI is calling on retailers to join the fight against the illicit tobacco trade as part of a new nationwide campaign called ’Don’t Be Complicit In Illicit’.

Aimed at motivating retailers and members of the public to take action against the illicit trade, the campaign includes a brand-new microsite www.jtiadvance.co.uk/DontBeComplicit which features an easy-to-use ‘report’ function.

The site also includes information on the scale of the problem and its implications for both retailers and local communities across the UK.

Don’t Be Complicit In Illicit is the latest move by JTI to fight illicit tobacco in the UK.

Over the past five years, JTI has carried out 32 local media campaigns, raising awareness of the dangers of illegal tobacco and has removed gantries from 33 retailers found to have been selling it.

This year the manufacturer has also supported three private prosecutions against illegal tobacco sellers, all resulting in successful convictions.

The latest campaign will be promoted via nationwide advertising in local and trade media, and via support from JTI field representatives.

JTI’s UK anti-illicit trade manager Ian Howell said: “Illicit tobacco remains a very serious problem and JTI is committed to supporting law-abiding retailers tackle this issue.

“We are confident this campaign will help raise awareness of the illicit trade and increase reports against those involved.

“We all have a role to play to combat the issue and we urge any retailer with knowledge of criminal activity to visit our new microsite and use the anonymous reporting function to report suspected sellers,” he added.

 Illicit tobacco is thought to account for around 15% of the UK cigarette market and 28% of the hand rolling tobacco market in  according to government estimates.