Trading Standards - Illicit Tobacco and Alcohol

The trade in illicit tobacco and alcohol has serious consequences for health, crime and community cohesion in Haringey. They are sold cheaper than legitimate products - but is not a victimless crime.

The trade in illicit tobacco and alcohol is a priority for Trading Standards as:

  • Illicit tobacco causes four times as many deaths as illicit drugs because it discourages smokers from quitting and encourages them to smoke more
  • Counterfeit alcohol can be dangerous as some counterfeit products - such as vodkas - are made from industrial alcohol without any control over what is going into them
  • Lower pricing and lack of responsibility by sellers makes it easier for children to smoke and drink alcohol
  • It is linked to low level and large scale organised crime, nationally and internationally
  • It goes hand in hand with drugs and alcohol, child exploitation, money laundering and even terrorism
  • It targets poor and disadvantaged communities

Types of products on sale

  • Illicit (duty free) – foreign products brought into the UK in illegal quantities and resold in the UK
  • Counterfeit – fake packaging often made to look like premium brands. Counterfeit products contain cheap/low quality tobacco or industrial alcohol often containing harmful substances and contaminants

Trading standards prioritises its work to tackle the trader in illicit tobacco and alcohol. We work regularly with HMRC, Police and other partners to tackle this trade.

If you want to report the sale of counterfeit or illicit tobacco in Haringey please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040 506. They will take your report and alert trading standards.

All calls will be treated in confidence and you may remain anonymous.

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Page last updated:

December 21, 2022