RFID Technology to Track Cigarettes in U.K.

LONDON—Since Oct. 1, every cigarette pack sold in the U.K. has contained an RFID tag in a government-backed effort to stop tobacco smuggling and counterfeiting.

Starting next year, customs officials will scan individual cigarette packs to verify authenticity and payment of duties.

British American Tobacco, Philip Morris, Imperial Tobacco and Gallaher are sharing most of the cost of the RFID technology.

According to the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA), RFID technology will end the costly process of sending packs to a lab to be tested.

The TMA says about 2 billion counterfeit cigarettes were introduced to the U.K. market last year.

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