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, while many products posed a fire risk and cost the UK economy around £3 billion a year in unpaid duty.
In some cases fake cigarettes contained human excrement, rat droppings, asbestos and dead flies, the LGA said.
Hundreds of thousands of illegal cigarettes have been seized in Wolverhampton, Bristol and Nottingham, as part of the council's bid to tackle the practice.
Trading Standards Officers reported finding cigarettes inside vacuum cleaners, under floorboards and in toilet cisterns.
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