LONDON, March 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt will unveil the Budget.
If the Chancellor increases taxes in line with inflation, it will be the biggest ever excise duty hike in history and will add fuel to the fire of a growing illegal trade in tobacco products - the cheapest pack of 20 cigarettes could cost over £12 and a 30g pack of hand rolling tobacco £17.50.
An annual survey of more than 1,400 smokers commissioned by JTI UK and carried out by Kantar showed that 43% of them had bought tobacco products that were not in the plain packs mandated by UK law. This represents a 7% increase since the last quarter of 2022 and stands at its highest point since the survey began.
JTI urges the Chancellor to take caution. The UK Government's own figures show that tobacco smuggling cost the UK £2.5 billion in lost tax revenue in 2020/21 alone. An excessive increase now only serves as an incentive for criminals by further widening the price between legitimate and illegal products.
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JTI is a leading international tobacco and vaping company with operations in more than 130 countries. It is the global owner of both Winston, the number two cigarette brand in the world, and Camel, outside the USA and has the largest share in sales for both brands. Other global brands include Mevius and LD. In the UK, JTI's brands include Benson & Hedges, Silk Cut, Mayfair, Sovereign and Sterling, as well as a number of other tobacco products including hand-rolling tobacco (Amber Leaf), cigars (Hamlet), pipe tobacco (Condor). JTI is also a major player in the international vaping market with its brand, Logic and tobacco vapor brand, Ploom. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, JTI employs over 45,000 people and was awarded Global Top Employer for four consecutive years. JTI is a member of the Japan Tobacco Group of Companies. For more information, visit www.jti.com
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