The authors advocate that taxation offers the most immediate way forward; amending UK tobacco regulation is the ideal solution but will take significantly longer to change than taxation and would require public consultation. The recent announcement on the proposed abolition of Public Health England (PHE) likely further complicates any such process, they add. The researchers suggest that tobacco duty can be changed relatively quickly and therefore offers the most immediate way to reduce the incentives behind such products until tobacco control legislation can be revised.

Further information

This work was supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies through its funding for STOP, a global tobacco industry watchdog (, and by the UK Prevention Research Partnership (MR/S037519/1), which is funded by the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Health and Social Care Research and Development Division (Welsh Government), Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, Natural Environment Research Council, Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), The Health Foundation and Wellcome.

The full study ‘Cigarette-like cigarillo introduced to bypass taxation, standardised packaging, minimum pack sizes and menthol ban in the UK’ is published in Tobacco Control; doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2020-055700.