How to spot illegal tobacco

Profile image for PGStrange

By PGStrange | Monday, February 25, 2013, 09:47

HOW CAN YOU spot illegal tobacco? As a new awareness campaign is launched to reduce the number of people buying and being offered illegal tobacco in Devon, here are seven tell-tale signs to look out for...

  • Price less than £3.50 for 20 cigarettes or under £7 for 50g of hand-rolling tobacco
  • Missing fiscal mark
  • No health warning
  • Foreign language on packs – specifically the health warning
  • Unfamiliar brands – never heard of it before? Check it out
  • Printing errors on the pack
  • Unusual taste and smell

Commonly used terms

Smokefree South West has offered definitions of some commonly used terms concerning illegal supply:

Smuggling – occurs where legitimately manufactured tobacco products are diverted, usually when in the wholesale distribution chain, evading payment of the tax.

Bootlegging – a variant of smuggling: tobacco products are purchased in a country with a low level of taxation and illegally brought into countries with higher rates of taxation.

Non-UK brands ('Cheap Whites') – brands manufactured overseas and smuggled into the UK. Brands include Raquel, Richman and Jin Ling.

Counterfeiting – involves the illegal manufacture of tobacco products, often abroad but sometimes in the UK to pass as UK brands avoiding all tax.

EU Duty Paid Goods –.There are no limits on the amount of duty and /or tax paid tobacco goods you can bring into the UK from the EU, as long as they are for your own use and not to be sold or exchanged as a form of payment.

Minimum Indicative Levels

Travellers from the South West bringing tobacco and cigarettes into the UK from the EU are reminded that Minimum Indicative Levels (MILs) changed on 1 October 2011, aligning the UK with levels elsewhere in Europe. Since that date, you are more likely to be asked questions at the frontier if you have more than 800 cigarettes and 1kg of hand-rolling tobacco.



max 4000 characters

Latest Stories in Exmouth


Local Vouchers


    Bradleys Estate Agents Ltd

    If you are thinking of selling or letting a property and would like a guide as to the value then simply visit our website and click on the free online valuation button

    Terms: This is not a formal valuation and only provides an approximate value. If you require an accurate valuation then please contact us via the website or call 03330 146140

    Contact: 01395 224800

    Valid until: Friday, October 31 2014

  • FREE TREATMENT & BLOW-DRY! With any colour serivce

    Viva Hair

    Free Moroccan Oil Conditioning treatment and Blow-dry with any colour service!

    Terms: Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Only vaild Tuesday - Friday, cannot be used on Saturdays. Must print off voucher.

    Contact: 01392349350

    Valid until: Friday, December 12 2014

  • Let us clean your home!

    Clean Sweep SW Ltd

    Established for 8 years, we specialise in professional domestic cleaning, and work closely with our clients to make their lives easier. Call Clean Sweep on 01392 832969 for more details.

    Contact: 01392346660

    Valid until: Friday, October 31 2014


Local Jobs


Search for...

Min price is bigger than Max price
Min price is bigger than Max price
Min rent is bigger than Max rent