WGPlus (Archive)

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.

Researched Links:

LGA:  Illegal tobacco trade harming efforts to cut smoking, councils warn

Operation Fetch’ sniffs out illegal tobacco

Illegal tobacco detection dogs given more time to sniff thanks to Welsh Government funding boost

LGA:  Toxic fake cigarettes filled with asbestos and excrement seized by councils

Sniffer dog Phoebe helps sniff out the illegal sale of tobacco in Newport

Fake tobacco factory gang jailed

Stop Illegal Tobacco

Illegal tobacco | Crimestoppers

Tackling illicit tobacco: From leaf to light - Gov.uk

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