1. ITV Report

Illegal cigarettes: Authorities move to stamp out booming trade in bogus brands

  • Video report by ITV News consumer editor Chris Choi

Trading Standards officials have launched a crackdown on the multi-million trade in illicit tobacco products.

Using specially trained sniffer dogs Trading Standards officers have raided a number of premises where the dangerous, illegal brands are thought to be sold.

A report by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute found the most common illegal brands seized are 'Fest Pect', 'Jin Ling' and 'Richman', many of them brought in form Poland and Russia.

The brands are typically cheaper, with some selling for as little as £3 a packet, but health authorities warn the unregulated brands are dangerous and can contain up to 500% higher levels of cancer-causing chemicals.

Fire experts are also concerned because while ordinary cigarettes will self-extinguish if left on their own, many of the illegal cigarettes will not, which has resulted in a number of deadly fires.