Answered by The Fearless Shopper
Generally, entering England from another E.U. country—Spain qualifies, but not the Canary Islands—you are permitted to bring as much tobacco as you can carry without making a declaration. (Since the inception of the E.U. Single Market, you have presumably already paid taxes.) But, be aware that the law stipulates for your personal consumption only, not for resale or other commercial purposes. Accordingly, European law and Customs guidance established levels for personal use at 3,200 cigarettes, 200 cigars, 400 cigarillos, and 3 kilograms of smoking tobacco. If you bring in more than the recommended guidance, you may be asked to show proof of a retail receipt, explain personal use, or answer questions about the frequency of your travels. Non-E.U. Nationals are permitted to bring in, duty-free, only 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars, or 250 grams of smoking tobacco. If you live outside of Europe, The amount allowed is doubled.
As a matter of interest, in 2000-01, British Customs seized 2.8 billion cigarettes! And in February 2003, BBC reported that Customs officers at Exeter Airport seized nearly 100,000 cigarettes from twelve men returning from a golfing outing on the Canary Islands. So, best to follow the official guidelines!
For additional information, check http://www.hmce.gov.uk/public/yourcust/yourcust.htm or http://www.fco.gov.uk. Traveling to Spain, see their regulations at http://www.ukinspain.com