- 3 updates
Trading Standards officers say fake cigarettes are damaging the health and wealth of communities across the Midlands.
They have been at Coalville Market in Leicestershire to warn shoppers about some of the ingredients that counterfeiters put into their products.
Officers also say the illegal trade is putting reputable traders out of business, as well as being highly dangerous to smokers.
Birmingham has been branded the worst city in the UK for illicit cigarette sales.
120 packs were sold to undercover investigators from 48 shops in just three days.
The test purchasers, who were working on behalf of one of the world's largest tobacco companies, were able to buy the cut-price products all over the city - including from a pet shop.
Counterfeit cigarettes can contain arsenic, mould and rat droppings - according to Trading Standards in Leicester. These ingredients have been found in cigarettes they've seized.
They're warning about the dangers today with a live demonstration in Coalville, as they create cigarettes using some of the lethal ingredients tests have detected.
Trading Standards say the trade in illegal tobacco is used to fund organised crime gangs, and undercuts legitimate businesses, as well as endangering the health of those who buy them.