JTI cuts off fake cig retailer

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Tobacco giant JTI shows zero tolerance against illicit tobacco trade



10 September 2009

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Tobacco manufacturer JTI Ireland (formerly Gallaher) has described as "unprecedented" its decision to cease trading with a midlands retailer it had reason to believe has been selling a counterfeit version of one of its brands.

JTI says the move highlights its "policy of zero tolerance for the ever expanding problem of the illicit trade of tobacco." General manager Martin Southgate said the company has received reports in the last few months of "a worrying trend of counterfeit cigarettes starting to infiltrate legitimate retail outlets."

The midlands retailer in question came to the attention of JTI when three customers returned packets of the fake cigarettes to the company, believing them to be faulty. Southgate inferred the company may now be taking legal proceedings against the retailer, saying: "We are also considering our options under trade mark and intellectual property law."



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