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Warning over illegal cigarettes 'containing human excrement'

Illegal cigarettes seized in a crackdown on black market trade have been found to contain human excrement, council officials have warned.

The Local Government Authority (LGA) said the illegal market is hampering efforts to reduce smoking.

Many products posed a fire risk and cost the UK economy around £3 billion a year in unpaid duty, the LGA added.

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People 'should think before buying illegal cigarettes'

People would "think twice" about buying illegal cigarettes if they knew what they contained, local authority leaders said.

Black market cigarettes seized in raids across England were found to contain human excrement, the Local Government Authority revealed today.

The LGA said the illicit trade was "costing taxpayer billions", and affecting council efforts to cut smoking.

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 organised criminal gangs, damaging the livelihoods of honest businesses and costing taxpayers billions of pounds a year.

People buying cheap cigarettes might think they are getting a great deal - but the truth is that they're not. If they knew what they might contain, they might think twice about buying them.

Council prosecutions should serve as a strong warning to any shopkeeper thinking of stocking their shelves with illegal tobacco and not thinking twice about selling them cheaply to children and others.

– Councillor Joanna Spicer

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