Christopher Olaniyi Samuyiwa, 53 was travelling to Leeds Bradford Airport from Nigeria on July 17 last year when he was stopped by Border Force officers.
He was caught trying to smuggle 74,000 cigarettes into the country, evading more than £22,882 in excise duty.
Border Force officers referred the case to HMRC for investigation.
Samuyiwa, from Hounslow, London, provided a pre-prepared statement when interviewed under caution by HMRC officers.
-> Woman burgled next door neighbours' house to steal boy's Playstation which she sold in pubHe said he was involved in boxing, was a heavy smoker and the cigarettes were for his personal use.
He also claimed to be unaware of any restrictions on the number of cigarettes that could be brought into the UK.
Samuyiwa admitted fraudulent evasion of excise duty at Bradford Magistrates Court on Tuesday, March 12 this year.
He was sentenced on Tuesday, April 2 at Bradford Crown Court to eight months in jail.
An HMRC spokesperson said: “Samuyiwa knew what he was doing was illegal and was caught red-handed. He claimed the cigarettes were for his own use, but it would have taken him more than ten years to get through them if he was a 20-a-day smoker.
“Tobacco smuggling takes money away from the public purse, money which could be funding vital UK services. I urge anyone with information about tobacco smuggling or any kind of tax fraud to contact HMRC online or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”