Fake Cigarettes Containing Asbestos, Arsenic And Human Poo Found In UK
The illegal cigarette trade is thought to cost the UK more than £2 billion ($2.6bn) each year in unpaid duty. That's before we get to the fact that it isn't exactly useful for people who are trying to give up smoking for good.
The Local Government Association (LGA), the organisation responsible for 370 local councils in England and Wales, wants courts to impose larger fines on those found guilty of selling dodgy fags.
In recent times, officials have used sniffer dogs to hunt down hauls of hooky cigs. They've been found stashed away in all sorts of places, including inside walls and underneath the floors of shops, stuck inside boxes of other products, and even inside the cistern of a toilet.
Yum. Toilet fags that might already contain human poo. How much?
Simon Blackburn, a representative of the LGA, said: "The sale of cheap, illegal tobacco is funding organised criminal gangs and damaging legitimate traders.
"It is also making it easier for young people to get hooked, which undermines efforts to help people quit.
"Fake cigarettes contain even higher levels of cancer-causing toxins than standard cigarettes.
More Like This
"Bigger fines need to be imposed by the courts to deter the sale of illegal tobacco."
Cigarettes aren't the only fake product causing a bit of trouble at the minute. In the past few weeks, police have discovered a load of fake vodka in the Yorkshire city of Hull.
Radanoff vodka is thought to have been made with industrial strength alcohol that can cause blindness or death if consumed.
The local authority for the city tweeted: "Warning: If you spot 'Radanoff' vodka for sale, do not buy or drink it. Radanoff is a fake brand seized recently in Hull.
"It could contain industrial alcohol which can cause blindness or death. If you see Radanoff, contact Trading Standards on 01482 300 300."
The statement continued: "Tests are still to be carried out on the bottles seized - until those are complete there's no way of knowing what's in the bottles.
"However, we do know this product has no customs duty stamp and the barcode doesn't link to a real product."
Fake alcohol is not only dangerous - in some cases car screenwash and anti-freeze have been used as ingredients - it's also costly. It's thought that alcohol fraud costs the UK £1bn ($1.3bn) each year.
Make sure whatever you're getting is the real deal, guys.
Featured Image Credit: PA