HMRC Impact assessment on standardised cigarette packs

Thursday 12 February 2015

Today the Government has published HMRC’s assessment of the potential impact standardised packaging could have on the illicit market. HMRC concludes that: “We have seen no evidence to suggest the introduction of standardised packaging will have a significant impact on the overall size of the illicit market or prompt a step-change in the activity of organised crime groups.” The impact assessment goes on to say: “Standardised packaging would not introduce any new risks to the UK illicit market”. [1]

This supports the conclusion reached in the Independent Review conducted by Sir Cyril Chantler and puts to rest tobacco industry claims that standard packaging would cause an explosion in illicit tobacco. [2]

Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy at health charity ASH said:

“The HMRC report confirms the conclusions of independent reviews of the evidence and pours cold water on tobacco industry arguments that standard packs would increase smuggling.”


Notes and Links:

An image of what a standardised cigarette pack might look like is included in Appendix C of the Government’s consultation document:

The Introduction of standardised packaging for tobacco. HMRC 12 Feb. 2015

[2] Standardised packaging of tobacco: report of the independent review undertaken by Sir Cyril Chantler


Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see: ASH receives core funding from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.
Contact: Hazel Cheeseman 020 7404 0242 (w) or 07754 358 593 (m)