Illegal tobacco | Reducing smoking | Medway Council
A better Medway

Illegal tobacco

Illegal tobacco is mostly cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco sold more cheaply than you would find at a genuine, honest retailer.

The harm

The sale of illicit tobacco is illegal, and funds organised crime gangs in Medway.

These gangs target vulnerable people, particularly young children, so that they become addicted to smoking at a young age.

The sale of illicit tobacco also takes business away from genuine retailers and attracts unwanted violence and criminal activity to Medway.

What illegal tobacco is

Illicit tobacco falls into one of three main categories: smuggled, counterfeit, and ‘cheap whites’.

Counterfeit

Counterfeit tobacco is unregulated, cheap, and packaged to look like genuine brands.

Smuggled

Smuggled tobacco is usually genuine cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco, which are illegally brought into the UK and sold without payment of UK duty and tax.

Cheap whites

Cheap whites are brands of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco that cannot be bought legitimately in the UK. They are primarily made for the illicit market.

Underage Sales

Children in Medway should be able to grow up without an addiction to smoking.

We rely on people selling tobacco to act responsibly and protect children by not selling to under 18's.

How to report illegal tobacco sales    

Anyone can report sales of illegal tobacco to us online or by calling 01634 334 455 or using our online form.

Report sales of illegal tobacco