When it comes to tobacco, our aims are to protect children from starting smoking and provide support for people to quit or cut down. Illegal tobacco falls mainly into the first category.
There are lots of reasons why you need to be concerned about illegal tobacco. You may think it’s a cheap alternative, but it costs more than you think.
We know that certain parts of the illegal tobacco trade helps fund organised crime and draws people into that lifestyle and culture.
It’s cheap and not regulated in the same way as normal tobacco is, which means it is often sold to children.
More harm than good
All tobacco products cause harm. Whether they’re bought legally from a retailer or illegally on the black market. Tobacco products – legal or otherwise – contain more than 4,000 chemicals, at least 60 of which are known to trigger cancer. Every year, smoking causes 80,000 premature deaths in England alone.
Illegal tobacco products aren’t subject to the usual regulations so the contents are unknown. They could also burn quicker, which is a known cause of fire.
We know that counterfeit (fake) tobacco is on sale in Dorset. If you choose to buy illegal tobacco, the question you need to ask yourself is: are you confident you are getting what you pay for?
You can help
We can’t tackle illegal tobacco without your help. We know that illegal tobacco is sold on social media, at retail premises, in pubs and betting shops and from houses, but we need more information.
You may feel that it doesn’t affect you or that it is not doing any harm. This is not the case.
You can report it by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
Or you can send vital information to local trading standards teams using this form. You don’t need to leave your details and all submissions will be treated as confidential.
The cheapest and safest thing to do is to quit or cut down smoking. You can find out more about the support available in our smoking section.