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Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association calls for higher fines for illicit tobacco sellers

Booker blamed an increase in 'duty-free imports' for driving a 5.6% drop in its annual tobacco sales

The Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA) is calling for higher fines for illicit tobacco sellers after it found seven in 10 smokers bought illicit tobacco last year. 

TMA director Rupert Lewis told Better Retailing: “The penalties they receive aren’t substantial enough. 

“We didn’t think £10,000 is sufficiently high – we think it should be higher and made that recommendation to government when they brought out the consultation in 2021.” 

The TMA said that post-pandemic, illicit sales are being fuelled by the rise in online sellers and more in-person selling. 

The rise is being felt by stores and wholesalers. In its latest results, Booker blamed an increase in “duty-free imports” for driving a 5.6% drop in its annual tobacco sales. 

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