The creation of a new cross-party Government group to combat the issues and drivers of the illicit trade has been welcomed by trade associations and suppliers.

Retail Express spoke to three retailers to find out what they think of the group:

“I’ve been advocating a tobacco registration scheme for years because of the illicit trade – even if it costs money for retailers, it’s worth doing. It’s good news this group is forming because, to have a registration scheme, you need to have Parliament behind it, so maybe it will put the idea on the table. I’d be happy to go to Parliament and tell the group they need to do this.”
Arif Ahmed, Ahmed Newsagents, Coventry

Hitesh Pandya“They need to do something and politicians really need to think about the subject of the illicit trade seriously. It’s all money being lost from the Treasury, so they need to sort it out. I think the Chancellor should give more funding to tackle the problem, which can then be recouped from legitimate sales and through the courts. Retailers should have input into this too.”
Hitesh Pandya, Toni’s News, Ramsgate, Kent

“I think it’s great news. The NFRN and others have been raising this for a long time. It’s good that politicians are finally willing to listen us and do something about this problem. But they need to take action afterwards. Anything they decide to do should be brought in as legislation. It’s no good just talking about it, it needs to be incorporated into laws and enforced.”
Naresh Purohit, Marseans, Dartford, Kent