|Your life is even ‘cheaper’ if you use illegal tobacco!|
Efforts to reduce smoking are being undermined by millions of cheap, illegal cigarettes containing up to 500% higher levels of cancer-causing chemicals flooding the black market, warn councils. The Local Government Association (LGA) said recent council hauls have seen sniffer dogs used to trace bootlegged and counterfeit tobacco.
Alongside the health risks, fake cigarettes also pose a greater fire risk as they do not include designs that ensure that a lit cigarette will self-extinguish if not actively smoked. This reduces the chances of them starting a fire if they are left burning in an ashtray, are dropped, or if the smoker falls asleep. They also cost the UK economy more than £2bn a year in unpaid duty.
HMRC estimates that in 2013/14 10% of cigarettes consumed in the UK were illegal, & 39% of hand rolled tobacco was illicit. Anyone found selling counterfeit tobacco can face an unlimited fine or up to 10 years in prison.