Illegal tobacco fuels organised crime
A massive trade in illegal tobacco is helping to fuel organised crime across the South West.
New research shows 1 in 5 South West smokers are happy to buy "bootleg tobacco".
The illicit activity costs the exchequer billions of pounds, but now customs officers, the police and trading standards are joining forces with Smokefree South West to tackle the problem.
A third of Torquay smokers buy illegal tobacco
Almost a third of smokers in Torbay admit buying illegal tobacco with one in five across the south west saying they've bought bootleg supplies.
The shock findings come on the day the police and revenue and customs launch a fresh crackdown on the illegal trade which is often linked to organised crime.
Bob Gaiger is from HM Revenue & Customs:
Smokers in Torbay admit to buying illegal tobacco
Almost a third of smokers in Torbay admit they've bought illegal tobacco, the highest anywhere in the region.
The survey findings coincide with a new crackdown on bootleg tobacco which police say is often linked to organised crime and costs the exchequer almost two billion pounds in lost revenue each year.
Across the South West one in five smokers say they've bought illegal tobacco.