ASH Daily News 19 October 2017



UK

  • North East: Middlesbrough shisha lounge fined for indoor smoking
  • Yorkshire: Thousands of illicit cigarettes found in raid
  • Channel Islands: ‘No if’s or butts’ for Guernsey smokers
  • Convenience stores to “Make space for the vapes”

International

  • Indonesia to raise tobacco excise by 10% on average in 2018

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary Questions

 

UK

North East: Middlesbrough shisha lounge fined for indoor smoking

The owner of a shisha lounge in Middlesbrough has been fined over £2,600 for allowing smoking indoors, breaching smokefree legislation.

Though the venue had an outdoors balcony area which could be used as a smoking area, upon visiting council officers found smoking taking place indoors. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to stop smoking in an enclosed space, and was further fined for failing to pay a victim surcharge.

Source: The Northern Echo, 18 October 2017
Read Article

 

Yorkshire: Thousands of illicit cigarettes found in raid

Products worth over £26,000 in evaded tax were discovered in raids on shops last week in Huddersfield and Halifax.

In total, approximately 90,000 illegal cigarettes and over 11kg of loose tobacco was found, with sniffer dogs assisting in an operation that comprised 65 separate raids across the area.

Sandra Smith, from HMRC, said, “Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £2 billion a year. I encourage anyone with information on illicit tobacco to contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Source: The Examiner, 18 October 2017
Read Article

 

Channel Islands: ‘No if’s or butts’ for Guernsey smokers

Police in Guernsey are relaunching a campaign to reduce tobacco-related litter, dubbed “No Ifs or Butts”.

Posters with the slogan will be distributed to areas where the litter is most prevalent, and those who smoke will be offered pouches to help dispose of any rubbish.

Following the first phase of raising awareness, police will remind the public that those who litter can be given a spot fine.

Source: ITV News, 19 October 2017
Read Article

 

Convenience stores to “Make space for the vapes”

With e-cigarettes becoming increasingly prevalent, convenience store owners are increasingly choosing to make space in their stores for vaping equipment, sometimes at the expense of combustible tobacco.

David Watt, who runs a service station in West Sussex has installed four units with different vaping liquids in his store. He said “It’s seen as a good alternative to cigarettes.”

Ollie Lodge, managing director of a service station in Rusdene, added that “more and more people are using these products in order to stop smoking traditional cigarettes. There’s been a huge uplift in the category.”

Source: Convenience Store, 18 October 2017
Read Article

 

International

Indonesia to raise tobacco excise by 10% on average in 2018

Excise taxes on tobacco products in Indonesia will increase in 2018 by an average of just over 10%.

The 10.04% increase in 2018 is fractionally lower than the increase in comparison to previous years, with the average increase in tax in 2016 being 10.5%.

Source: Reuters, 19 October 2017
Read Article

 

Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary Questions

PQ1: Lost revenue to illicit tobacco
Daniel Kawczynski, Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the amount of revenue lost by the Exchequer due to the sale of illicit tobacco in the UK in the last year for which figures are available.

Andrew Jones, The Exchequer Secretary
Estimates of the Tobacco illicit market share for years up to 2015-16 are published online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tobacco-tax-gap-estimates. Estimates for 2016-17 will be published at 9:30am on 26th October 2017

Citation: HL Deb, 18 October 2017, cW
Source: TheyWorkForYou

PQ2: Prevent disbenefit to retailers due to illicit trade
Daniel Kawczynski, Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to prevent financial disbenefit to independent retailers as a result of the sale of illicit tobacco in their area.

Andrew Jones, The Exchequer Secretary
To prevent the damage that illicit tobacco causes, including to independent retailers, since 2000, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has adopted a strategic approach to tackling illicit tobacco. This has reduced the tax gap for cigarettes from 22% in 2000 to 13% in 2015/16 and for hand-rolling tobacco from 61% to 32%.

The refreshed joint HMRC / Border Force strategy (‘Tackling illicit tobacco: From leaf to light’) published on GOV.UK in March 2015 demonstrated how that approach continues to adapt to the challenge as the fraud continually changes. This requires sustained action at all points in the supply chain in partnership with other enforcement agencies in the UK and overseas. The strategy also includes initiatives such as the introduction of a new scheme to control raw tobacco used to illegally manufacture tobacco products in the UK and getting tougher on those involved in the fraud through more effective use of the wide range of sanctions available to HMRC and other enforcement agencies.

Citation: HL Deb, 17 October 2017, cW
Source: TheyWorkForYou