From: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist
It should be a surprise to no one that the illicit trade in tobacco is booming after several years of above-inflation tax rises and the implementation of plain packaging. Shameless as ever, state-funded anti-smoking groups are attempting to exploit the failure of their policies to feather their own nests.
Despite the survey finding that underage smokers are far more likely to be buying tobacco from ‘private addresses’ (ie. tab houses) than shops, Fresh are pushing for more regulation of the legal trade in the form of licensing. They want every shop that sells tobacco to apply for a licence to do so. Crucially, they want these shops to pay for the privilege. This is entirely unnecessary. Shopkeepers who sell illicit tobacco already face large fines and can lose their alcohol license if they sell tobacco to underage consumers.