From Audrey Wales, national spokesperson, Tobacco Alliance and Northern Ireland retailer

Sir; Further to your article ‘Smuggling: no change’(The Grocer, December 18, p10), we note from your survey that 84% of retailers now believe the way to remove the incentive for smuggling is for the government to reduce the level of taxation. 

This is an increase on the figure revealed in the Retailers Against Smuggling survey published by the Tobacco Alliance in August, when 73% of our retailers told us that the way to reduce the level of contraband tobacco sales was to reduce taxes. 

The strength of feeling on this issue, as you have now revealed, is clearly escalating. When is the government going to listen? 

Will it take 100% of retailers to point out that the level of tax is the issue before the Treasury takes note?
The cost of a packet of cigarettes in Latvia, now a member of the EU, is 37p. In the UK, it is £4.82. What further temptation do smugglers need?