London Tobacco Alliance: Reducing the sale and use of illegal tobacco

The sale and use of illegal tobacco has been highlighted by the World Health Organisation as significantly contributing to the spread of the tobacco epidemic – a global problem with serious consequences for public health.

Illegal tobacco is commonly available across London. It’s a major concern for local authorities as it threatens the efforts of smokers who want to quit the habit, has a strong link to criminality and leads to loss of government revenue. The current cost-of-living crisis is pushing many people into financial hardship meaning even more smokers may be turning to illegal tobacco. As illegal tobacco is completely unregulated, it exacerbates the negative health impacts of smoking amongst Londoners.

In partnership with the London Tobacco Alliance, this project will look at ways to improve communications and engagement with smokers, their families, retailers, and trading standards teams across London. It will also identify quantitative and qualitative data requirements to support future project development and highlight the impact and size of illegal tobacco seizures across the city.