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Keep It Out


Two phases of Get Some Answers in the North East and one phase of Keep it Out illegal tobacco campaigns have helped efforts to reduce the acceptability of illegal tobacco in the North East and show people they can make a stand against it anonymously by calling Crimestoppers.


Both campaigns have led to spikes in intelligence for law enforcement colleagues while running, while a survey following the Get Some Answers campaign found:


  • seven out of ten people had seen the campaign in target communities
  • 69% of people agreed it made them more aware of the problems of illegal tobacco
  • 52% agreed it made them more uncomfortable about sales in the local area
  • 55% agreed it made them more likely to report sales to children
  • 51% agreed it made them more supportive of efforts to tackle illicit tobacco
  • 30% agreed it would make them less likely to buy illegal tobacco in the future

Official HMRC statistics show the illegal tobacco market in the UK has halved in the last decade, but a major tracking survey has also measured the size of the market in the North East since 2009.  The 2013 findings revealed:


  • The illegal tobacco market makes up just 9% of the overall tobacco market in the North East, compared to 13% in 2011 and 15% in 2009
  • Only one in six smokers (17%) now buys illegal tobacco - down from one in five (20%) smokers buying it in 2011 and one in four (24%) smokers in 2009. 
  • The total volume of illegal tobacco bought is down 27% on 2011 which was in turn down 41% on 2009. That means 192 million fewer cigarettes and hand rolled a year worth around £56m in duty.
  • Just over four in ten smokers have been offered illicit tobacco, down from more than half in 2011.