Gibraltar Takes Steps To Reduce Smoking

Gibrlatar received special award for fighting smoking

Minister for Public Health John Cortes admired the Award with Dr Carter Credit: Gibraltar Government

MANY people who live in the South of Spain visit Gibraltar for three main reasons, cheap booze, cheap petrol and cheap cigarettes.

For years, the ‘Winston Boys’ of neighbouring La Linea have been involved in the smuggling of tobacco into Spain as duty is so much lower in Gibraltar.

Whilst the income from tobacco sales is important to the revenue raised by the Government on the Rock, politicians have recognised that if they are going to get anywhere with the still ongoing Brexit/Schengen negotiations they had to do something to cut back the smuggling.

There are now stringent penalties on Gibraltarian businesses that sell large volumes of tobacco and also restrictions on the amount that any individual can purchase with new and higher duties being regularly imposed.

Even the Spanish Government which used to castigate Gibraltar for supplying such a high percentage of illicit tobacco across the border has publicly recognised that the situation has changed and that a combination of cigarettes smuggled across from Andorra as well illicit tobacco factories in Spain are now far more damaging to the Spanish economy.

Health matters

None of this takes into account the health problems caused by smoking but even though tobacco is still cheap and plentiful on the Rock, Gibraltar is one of just two administrations which year received recognition for their work on tobacco control.

The Government of Gibraltar has been formally recognised for its work on tobacco control by the UK Health Security Agency Overseas Team (a packet of Silk Cut Purple in UK costs £16.35 and in Gibraltar around £5).

The award was present to the Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Carter, at the annual UK Overseas Territory Conference in Miami as Gibraltar has undertaken significant work in the Public Health sphere of tobacco control over the last 12 months, including the establishment of a National Focal Point.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page