JTI has launched an anti-illicit tobacco campaign through the retail trade called ‘Don’t Be Complicit In Illicit’.
Aimed at making the trade and members of the public more vigilant, the drive includes a new site, www.jtiadvance.co.uk/DontBeComplicit, which features an easy-to-use ‘report’ function, as well as information on the scale of the problem and its implications.
Over the past five years, the company has carried out 32 local media campaigns, raising awareness to the general public about the dangers of illegal tobacco, and has removed gantries from 33 retailers found to have been selling illegal stock.
This year it has also supported three private prosecutions against illegal tobacco sellers, all resulting in convictions.
The new initiative will be promoted largely via a nationwide advertising campaign in local and trade media.
It is estimated that illegal tobacco accounts for around 15% of the cigarette market and 28% of the hand-rolling tobacco sector in the UK. This resulted in £2.5 billion of lost tax revenue in 2016/7, with a total deficiency of £43.5 billion since 2000/1.