Newtownabbey in Northern Ireland was ‘top’ of the UK’s league of towns for the consumption of illicit cigarettes at the end of last year, according to a Press Association story quoting the results of a survey commissioned by Philip Morris.
About 66 per cent of the cigarette packs bought in Newtownabbey between October and December were illicit.
Lisburn, with a 43 per cent illicit rating, ranked second in the UK-wide survey, and it was followed by Crawley (close to London’s Gatwick airport), with 31.6 per cent, Coventry, with 30.3 per cent, and London, with 28.5 per cent.
According to the analysis of the last quarter of 2011, the illicit trade is on the rise. Almost 15 per cent of the cigarettes smoked across the UK between October and December had not had UK duty paid on them, compared with just over 10 per cent during the previous three months.
And things could get worse. The UK is currently considering the issue of plain packaging, which many observers believe would increase the illicit trade.
Category: Breaking News