A quarter of cigarettes smoked in England and Wales and 75% of roll-ups avoid tax and duties, according to chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson.
He said that the policy of raising prices to deter smoking was failing because of illegal international trade and relaxed EU rules.
In his annual report, Professor Donaldson called for the number of cigarettes that individuals are allowed to bring back from Europe to be reduced from 3,200 to 200. And he said that action must be taken to reduce the price difference of tobacco across member states.
“Smuggled and cheap tobacco undermines health and health inequality goals.”