Tobacco: Smuggling

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 9th November 2021.

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Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Chair, Finance Committee (Commons), Chair, Finance Committee (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to fund regional programmes that reduce the use of illicit tobacco in deprived communities.

Photo of Maggie Throup Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Local authorities make funding decisions through the public health grant about the services needed to meet the needs of their populations and this includes stop smoking services and campaigns. Central funding is also provided to local authorities for local trading standards activity including illicit tobacco. Local authorities will decide how this is allocated across local services.

In addition, to reduce the availability of illicit tobacco in local communities the Government announced a package of measures at Budget 2020. This included investment to create a new UK-wide HMRC and Trading Standards intelligence sharing hub as well as a ring-fenced grant of £1 million to support National Trading Standards anti-illicit tobacco projects. This investment has commenced and is designed to provide tougher, more visible street level enforcement in those communities where illicit tobacco is a problem.

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