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Largest ever seizure of illegal tobacco in Spain

Just some of the tobacco seized Guardia Civil

Just some of the tobacco seized Guardia Civil

IN A joint investigation between the Guardia Civil and the Tax Office under the codename ‘Rosa’, two people have been arrested and a plant producing ready to smoke tobacco has been closed in what is described as the largest seizure of its kind in Spain to date.

Working with the Association of Tobacconists in Granada who had been heavily hit by this illegal operation, an investigation commenced in January 2016 which included checking web pages offering tobacco for sale.

It transpired that much of this tobacco was produced in unsanitary conditions without following legal production requirements with no tax being paid or declared.

Having identified three properties in Chauchina (Granada) the combined operation noted the arrival of leaf tobacco which was then converted to tobacco suitable for smoking and distributed throughout Almeria, Granada, Jaen and Seville.

After being satisfied that this was an illegal operation undertaken in breach of tax and health laws, the joint investigators seized a total of 95,000 kilos of tobacco, arrested two people, closed the premises and seized manufacturing equipment, records as well as a number of vehicles.

Effects of plain package branding and graphic health warnings on adolescent smokers in the USA, Spain and France



The purpose of this study is to provide an experimental test of the effects of plain pack branding and graphic health warnings (GHWs) in three different countries for an important and vulnerable population, that is, adolescents who are experimenting with smoking.


The effects of plain pack branding (logo present, logo absent), and graphic visual warning level (absent, low, medium, high) are studied experimentally for their impact on adolescent cigarette craving, evoked fear, pack feelings and thoughts of quitting in the USA, Spain and France. A total of 1066 adolescents who were experimenting with smoking served as participants in the study. A quota sample produced 375 respondents in the USA, 337 in Spain and 354 in France.


Overall findings indicate that the GHWs were effective in impacting adolescent cigarette craving, evoked fear, pack feelings and thoughts of quitting. The plain pack effects were not as strong, yet reduced craving, increased fear, and decreased pack feelings for all three samples combined, and for US adolescent smokers individually, irrespective of the GHWs. For French adolescent smokers, plain pack effects for craving were limited to low/moderate GHW levels. For Spanish adolescent smokers, plain pack feeling effects were limited to the absence of the GHWs.


The results show that plain packs can independently strengthen the more instantaneous, direct effects (short of quitting thoughts) found with the GHWs. Yet, the plain pack results were attenuated for Spanish and French adolescent smokers, who are currently exposed to GHWs.

Police seize 88 tonnes of contraband tobacco in Spain

Spanish police have seized a record 88 tonnes of contraband tobacco, the equivalent of over eight million packets of cigarettes and arrested six people, the government said Friday.

The tobacco was found in several warehouses in the provinces of Jaen and Almeria in the southern region of Andalucia and it had a street value of €14 million ($15.4 million), the finance ministry said in a statement.

Police detained six people who are suspected of chopping up the tobacco so as to make cigarettes and then selling it over the Internet.

“They even posted several tutorials online where they showed how to roll the cigarettes,” the statement said.

The operation more than doubles the previous record seizure of 41 tonnes of contraband tobacco carried out in November 2015 in Andalucia. Eleven people were detained in Jaen and Madrid as part of that operation.

The authorities suspect the six people who were arrested in the latest sting were trying to “substitute” the contraband tobacco operation that was dismantled last year.

Both contraband operations came to light when legal tobacco sellers in Andalucia complained that their sales had dropped sharply.

More than 41 tonnes of smuggled tobacco seized


THE Guardia Civil, in collaboration with the Treasury Ministry, has seized more than 41 tonnes of tobacco in the largest tobacco seizure in Spanish history. The amount of tobacco is estimated to be enough to fill four million packets of cigarettes and has a market value of about €6,640,000.

Eleven members of the organisation have been arrested. They are being charged with smuggling and tax fraud, with the total amount of fraud adding up to €5,500,000 when taking into account IVA, special taxes and customs laws.

The investigation started at the beginning of the year after an increased amount of loose tobacco and roll-up cigarettes was noted in different parts of Jaen. At the same time, the police force began to receive numerous reports from local tobacco shops and tobacco distribution companies that sales were down about 30 per cent.

Increased police presence was established in order to determine if it was the result of smuggling. Officers began to carry out checks on establishments in the province in order to ensure that those selling tobacco were authorised to do so.

Officers carried out nine searches in the towns of Jodar and Linares, where they seized 400 kilos of tobacco, a large quantity of cigarettes, and numerous machines for cutting and rolling tobacco.

Afterwards, the Guardia Civil, in collaboration with the Tax Agency of Granada, detected that the supply company of the tobacco and the machines was doing its manufacturing in two industrial areas near Madrid. Upon investigation of these areas, the officers discovered that the supply company was not registered as a manufacturer, importer, or distributor of tobacco, which is required by Spanish law. Further investigation revealed that the company was buying tobacco in bulk from companies in Spain, Poland and Bangladesh, and the rolling and packaging machines from the United States.

The company had a large number of clients. Clients were found by means of phone calls or through the company´s website, which had servers located in France and Bangladesh. The distribution of the merchandise was carried out through a shipping company that makes daily shipments to all parts of Spain and Portugal. The receivers resold the products either in person or on the internet

Information disclosure and smoking risk perceptions

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