Tobacco - counterfeit, foreign labelled or illicit tobacco

Report sellers of illicit and counterfeit tobacco to Trading Standards

Trading Standards in Milton Keynes contribute to the national fight against illicit tobacco.  The sale of duty evaded and counterfeit tobacco products undermines the health objectives of high taxation and labelling rules and steals business away from legitimate tobacco sellers.

There are also fire safety implications as illicit cigarettes do not comply with legal requirements designed to reduce the chances of un-attended lit cigarettes starting a fire.

Furthermore a high percentage of foreign labelled tobacco has been found to be counterfeit. Counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco can contain higher yields of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide which make them even more dangerous. 

Cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco in this country has to be sold in a standardised format packaging and the UK duty-paid mark must be displayed. The packaging must be a specific shape and in a certain colour; all other colours, trademarks, logos and promotional graphics are prohibited.

The information such as the health warnings must also be in English.

Here are some examples of compliant packaging.

Standardised tobacco packaging
Example of correct packaging


Standardised tobacco packaging
Example of correct labelling

If your packaging does not look like this you might like to consider reporting the seller to us.



National and regional levels of smoking and smoking related diseases continue to fall as a result of higher taxation, better education, support in quitting and laws limiting where people can smoke. However, illicit and counterfeit tobacco is cheap and readily available and keeps people smoking.

If you identify someone involved in the sale of illicit, foreign labelled or counterfeit tobacco please let us know by completing our online form.

If you sell tobacco products and you would information on the changes in display of tobacco and pricing legislation please follow this link.

Last Updated: 24 January 2021