Japan Tobacco International (JTI), has today announced the launch of a new nationwide anti-illicit tobacco campaign called “Don’t Be Complicit In Illicit, which calls on retailers to join the fight against the illicit tobacco trade. 

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, as well as 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 5 years, JTI 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 tobacco. This year the manufacturer has also supported three private prosecutions against illegal tobacco sellers, all resulting in successful convictions.

The campaign will be promoted via a nationwide advertising campaign in local and trade media, as well as ongoing face-to-face support from JTI field representatives.

The UK government estimates that illegal tobacco makes up around 15% of the cigarette market and 28% of the hand rolling tobacco market in the UK. This has resulted in £2.5bn of lost tax revenue in 2016/7, with a total revenue loss of £43.5bn since 2000/1[1]. The illegal tobacco trade seriously undermines legitimate business while providing criminals with huge profits. It also undermines efforts to prevent under 18s from having access to tobacco products.

Ian Howell, UK Anti-Illicit Trade Manager at JTI, comments

“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.” 

For more information, visit www.jtiadvance.co.uk/DontBeComplicit today and join JTI in the fight against illicit tobacco.

[1] Measuring tax gaps 2018 edition. Tax gap estimates for 2016-17. HMRC, June 2018

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