Letter: Cigarette tax

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Letter: Cigarette tax

Sir: Dawn Primarolo's announcement (30 July) that pounds 35m is to be spent on tackling cross-border cigarette-smuggling ignores the cause of the problem.

With every cigarette tax increase, the Government further empowers the smugglers as more smokers turn to the black market because they are unable to afford or not prepared to pay retail prices for their cigarettes.

The rise of tobacco smuggling has led to a very real crime epidemic on the streets of Britain. Organised criminal gangs have moved into this lucrative trade, and cigarettes are increasingly finding their way from unscrupulous traders into the hands of children.

Only an immediate and substantial cut in cigarette tax will solve this crisis.

JUDITH DRAYCOTT

Fair Cigarette Tax Campaign

Newton-on-the-Moor, Northumberland

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