15 September 2014
Millions of illegal cigarettes filled with dead flies, human excrement and abnormally high levels of cancer-causing chemicals are being taken off the streets by councils cracking down on the black market trade.
Cllr Joanna Spicer, Vice-Chair of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board said efforts to reduce smoking and improve health are being hampered by the illicit trade, which also costs the UK economy around £3 billion a year.
"Counterfeit tobacco being sold cheaply through the black market by rogue traders is hampering council efforts to reduce smoking. This illicit trade is also funding criminal gangs, damaging the livelihoods of honest businesses.
Council prosecutions are a warning to shopkeepers thinking of stocking illegal tobacco and not thinking twice about selling them to children and others."