Cancer Research UK led the way:
Rates of tobacco smuggling into the UK have fallen despite earlier claims from the tobacco industry that tax rises would prompt an increase in the illicit trade, official figures show.
An estimated nine per cent of cigarettes consumed in the UK in 2010/11 were illicit, compared with 11 per cent in the previous year, according to HM Revenue & Customs.
Robin Hewings, Cancer Research UK's tobacco policy manager, commented: "The tobacco industry claims that cigarette smuggling is 'booming', 'set to grow' and that the UK is becoming the European 'hotspot'.
"Today's figures show the opposite. This is yet another instance of the tobacco industry making claims that turn out not to be true."Which of course prompted truth-challenged crusty Mr Chapman to chime in with his usual blundering idiocy.
UK tobacco tax rises followed by falls in illegal tobacco use. @batpress how can this be true? cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/ne…
— Simon Chapman (@SimonChapman6) October 22, 2012
She added: "Once again it is clear that there is no reason to believe tobacco industry propaganda about the relationship between illicit trade, tobacco taxes, plain packaging or other tobacco control measures."As I commented at the time, this was simply the kind of bunco booth scam we have come to expect from anti-smoking fantasists.
I think you can see the problem there, can't you? Yes, the figures are almost two years out of date.
Since then, we have had two budgets. In 2011, duty was raised by 50p per pack and earlier this year , by a further 37p per pack.I took a bit of stick from some tobacco controllers (particularly a beardy one from Scotland) who insisted that they would much prefer to see official figures rather than trust claims by the tobacco industry. But - after years of listening to anti-smoking lies and drivel advocacy - it's pretty clear that the tobacco industry is far more honest than their detractors, hence my confidence in the comments at Liberal Vision in May.
I can’t wait till the govt release figures for illicit for 2012/13, I'm noting all these denialists down so we can have some fun in the future as to how the crooks are using 2 year old figures to try to bamboozle MPs.And today is the day I've been waiting for. From The Times.
Revenue & Customs said the market share of illicit cigarettes rose from 7 per cent to 9 per cent in 2012-13, costing the taxpayer £1.1 billion compared with £900 million the previous year.
The illegal hand-rolling tobacco market increased by 1 percentage point to 36 per cent, leading to £900 million in lost revenue.
Recent tobacco industry data has shown an increase in tobacco smuggling.Indeed it has, and it has been 100% spot on, as shown by this graph from the, err, official HMRC estimates.
Hmm, so when tobacco companies warned illicit trade was "set to grow", they were right and CRUK were wrong.
When they said that hikes in taxes would lead to increases in smuggling, they were correct and Debs Arnott was wrong.
And when Chapman sarcastically asked how tax increases can lead to falls in illegal tobacco use, he was comprehensively conned by his own side's mendacity. It is quite clear that those budget increases in 2011 and 2012 have led to consumers doing exactly what any economist will tell you that they would do. They have sought to avoid the tax. So he was hilariously wrong too.
Will they admit it? Of course not. The best Arnott can do is weakly quibble on the margins.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, the anti-smoking campaign charity, said the latest figures showed that smuggling was “not rising rapidly as the tobacco industry and its front groups routinely claim”.
It's rising though Debs, innit? As tobacco companies correctly predicted, and your side arrogantly and fraudulently dismissed.
At the start of this year, the Independent's Nick Goodway posed an interesting question.
HMRC data shows that tobacco duty raised £9.1bn in 2010, £9.6bn in 2011 and an estimated £9.7bn in 2012. Could 2013 be the first time total tobacco duty raised actually falls?
On the evidence above, the smart money must surely be on the answer being yes.