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Illegal Tobacco

 
Illegal Tobacco keep it out sign
Illegal Tobacco - keep it out

Our trading standards officers work with Northumbria Police and the community to cut down on illegal tab houses in the borough.

Cutting supply and demand is the urgent priority of the North of England ‘Tackling Illicit Tobacco for Better Health Programme’ across the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humberside.

The term ‘tab houses’ refers to properties where cut price smuggled, or even counterfeit, cigarettes and pouches or hand rolled tobacco are sold from. We estimate that every Gateshead resident has to pay an extra £76/year in tax to make up for the tax lost to the illegal tobacco trade.

The illegal tobacco trade is a problem that goes well beyond the billions of pounds lost to the public purse through unpaid duty.

  • Often the tab houses are selling their illegal cigarettes to children, undermining efforts by legitimate shops to sell only to people over 18, and exposing them to all the well documented health risks associated with smoking.
  • Tab houses cause a detrimental effect on the quality of life in neighbourhoods and create a knock on effect of criminal activity in the wider area.

Find out more about the damage illegal tobacco is doing in your area.

Report illegal tobacco sales

If you'd like to share some information and help keep illegal tobacco out of your community, you can report it through Keep it Out.  You can also call the reporting line for illicit tobacco which is 0300 999 0000 

Alternatively you can report it to our trading standards team by completing our confidential on-line form. It's free and you don’t need to leave your name or contact details.