Should I be concerned?
You might think that having illegal cigarettes knocking around our area is nothing to worry about, but the trade in illegal tobacco has serious consequences for health and crime.
Dealers often target underage smokers, making it easier for children to get hooked. In fact, young smokers are more likely to be offered illegal tobacco than adults. And because illegal cigarettes are cheap they encourage people to smoke more and make it harder for smokers to quit.
Illegal tobacco has strong links to low-level and large-scale organised crime so people buying illegal tobacco are lining criminals’ pockets and funding drugs, alcohol smuggling and money laundering.
Putting kids in danger
Fag houses will sell to anyone, putting kids and vulnerable people in risky situations around criminals closely linked to drugs and organised crime. It’s estimated that around one in seven 14 to 15 year old smokers buy cigarettes from illegal fag houses.