Over a quarter of all cigarettes smoked in the South West are either illegal or purchased outside of the UK, a survey has found.
More than 12,000 packs from streets and bins across the country were tested.
The results show that our region is above the national average.
Cheap illegal cigarettes are often sold on street corners. Criminal gangs are known to routinely target children.
Latest research conducted by Smokefree South West shows:
29% of people had stopped encouraging loved ones to quit because they were scared of starting an argument.
84% of parents said they encourage their child to stop as they don't like to see them harm themselves
67% of people, whose parents smoke, try to encourage them to stop because they're scared of losing them early.
Kisrty Vaas from Torquay was diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) just over a year a go after one of her lungs collapsed.
She is now constantly short of breath, unable to travel and is supported by her younger daughter.
Kirsty knows this is a result of her smoking habit, but she wants others to learn from her mistakes.
Kirsty has thrown her support behind 'Smokefree South West' which have succeeded in making parts of Bristol smoke free from today.
At the opening there will be a 'take a straw challenge' where people try and breathe through a straw to simulate what it feels like to have a collapsed lung.
It's the same technique Kirsty used to explain her condition to her daughter.
A mother from Torquay has made an impassioned plea for people to stop smoking.
A new campaign by Smoke-free South West is calling on people to consider the impact on their relatives. 33-year-old Kirsty Vass has been diagnosed with a chronic lung disease and emphysema as a result of smoking.
Smokers and morbidly obese people in Devon will be denied routine surgery unless they quit smoking or lose weight.
Patients with a BMI of 35 or above will have to shed 5% of their weight - while smokers will have to quit eight weeks before surgery.
The NHS in Devon says the cuts are needed to help meet waiting list targets.
PENSIONER FINALLY QUITS SMOKING
By Claire Hayhurst, Press Association
A pensioner has finally kicked her 50-year-long smoking habit - after lighting up 750,000 cigarettes.
Ann Veit, 68, from Musbury, near Axminster in Devon, smoked around 40 cigarettes each day from the age of 15.
She attempted to quit smoking three times over the 50-year-period, trying hypnosis, acupuncture and patches.
However, the retired information systems manager eventually managed to give up in March, after attending a weekly NHS stop smoking clinic. She is being supported to quit with the use of patches and an inhaler.
Mrs Veit, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, has already seen significant improvement in the function of her lungs.
Carbon monoxide levels in her blood reduced from 26 parts per million (ppm) to just three in one week - the same levels as a non-smoker.
The clinics are run at Axminster Medical Practice every Friday, along with three sessions a week in Honiton, Devon.
A new campaign gets underway today to stamp out the sale of illegal tobacco in the region
This comes after new figures show 8 out of 10 people in the South West think the product-often smuggled in and unregulated- is a danger to children.
As it is cheaper than normal tobacco, it's also believed to make it easier for children to start smoking.
Now do you think smoking in cars should be banned if there are children in the vehicle? Last night MPs voted to back the proposal - although it could be some time before it becomes law.
The proposed legislation comes as Smokefree South West reveals almost 90% of people they spoke to were not aware half of smokers will die early.
Katie Rowlett has the story.
One in two smokers in the South West will die early, according to a new TV ad campaign. More than 800 thousand people smoke across the region, and almost 8,500 of those could die of smoking-related diseases, according to the group Smoke Free South West.
Devon County Council will sign up to a national scheme today to protect residents from the risks of smoking.
The tobacco control declaration is part of the council's role in protecting the public from diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease.
The council will work with local communities to educate people about the dangers of smoking.