The cost of tobacco does not bother me that much but it is obviously important to many people as the treasury looses a lot of money from purchases of tobacco in the EU.  Last year the government estimated it lost between 1.2 billion and 2.9 billion pounds from tobacco smuggled into GB and between 0.7 billion and 0.5 billion from legally imported tobacco. This adds up to something between 1.9 billion and 3.4 billion pounds. Obviously the estimates for smuggled goods are going to be somewhat wide as no one really knows how successful the smugglers are. Click here to check the figures Tax revenue losses from tobacco.

These are the prices of cigarettes in the EU.AIT_EU_MAP_PREMIUM_CIGARETTES_MARCH_2015_bWhat will happen if we vote to leave the EU?

First of all you would not be able to bring in vast quantities of tobacco for ‘personal consumption’

Secondly the government might well feel able to increase taxes on tobacco at a faster rate than they have in the past, because at present they fear that more taxes will result in more purchases from overseas and thus less tax revenue in the long run.

Third, there will be an increased incentive to bring more tobacco into the country illegally. However as the way this is normally achieved is to load up you van with fags and booze and then claim if you are stopped that it is for personal use, only to sell it once you get home. This method will not be possible if the limit returns to pre EEC days ie 250 cigs, and 6 bottles of wine. So possibly the amount bought in illegally will also fall.

Is this a good thing or not? I suppose it depends on whether you smoke or not. More money for the treasury, less cancer, but greater taxation of the poor, (who tend to smoke more than the rich)

Please share if you think it worthwhile.