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The UK Government has introduced
new rules on tobacco products. Packs
must be compliant by May 2017, but you
will start to see changes before then.

One of the concerns around the introduction of plain packaging is that counterfeit and illegal tobacco may increase. You should be aware that:

  • Whereas legitimate tobacco production is very highly regulated, counterfeit production is, by its nature, unregulated and counterfeit packs have been found to contain substances such as asbestos, mould, dust, dead flies and rat droppings
  • It is illegal to buy and sell smuggled and counterfeit tobacco products. Proceeds from these sales fund organised crime and terrorism
  • The availability of illegal tobacco undermines efforts to fight underage smoking. Criminals who operate illegally have no qualms about selling to children

Should you be concerned that you may have been sold illegal tobacco products, please contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.