Policy paper

Tackling illicit tobacco: From leaf to light

This strategy document published by HM Revenue and Customs and UK Border Force addresses changes in the illicit tobacco market.



HMRC and Border Force published the more recent strategy, Stubbing out the problem: A new strategy to tackle illicit tobacco, in January 2024.

‘Tackling Illicit Tobacco: From leaf to light` explains how we will continue to target, catch and punish those involved in the illicit tobacco market and focuses on 4 key themes:

  1. Creating a hostile global environment for tobacco fraud through intelligence-sharing and policy change

  2. Undermining the profitability of the fraud at all point in the supply chain from production to retail

  3. Getting tougher on those involved through sanctions

  4. Changing public perceptions and reducing tolerance of the fraud in the UK


HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is undertaking an informal, targeted consultation on sanctions for tobacco duty fraud.

HMRC is inviting views from specific groups with a potential interest in tackling illicit tobacco.

The objective is to generate ideas and develop early thinking on how we could increase the effectiveness of sanctions to tackle illicit tobacco, the criminality behind it and the impact that it has on individuals, communities and legitimate business.

Ways to respond

HMRC is contacting a wide range of government departments and national and local enforcement agencies, public health groups and representatives of legitimate business potentially affected by tobacco fraud.

We have invited views by 28 August 2015.

If you are in one of these groups and have not been invited to participate in this exercise but would wish to do so, please contact us:

Updates to this page

Published 24 March 2015
Last updated 15 July 2015 + show all updates
  1. HMRC is consulting on Tobacco Duty fraud. Views are invited by 28 August 2015.

  2. First published.

Sign up for emails or print this page