Drop in illegal cigarettes
Research for the tobacco industry has suggested that the number of counterfeit or imported cigarettes being smoked in Bath is decreasing.
A study of discarded cigarette packets in the city has suggested that 14.8 per cent were either counterfeit or brought in from abroad – down from 26.9 per cent a year ago.
Researchers collected packets from the streets and bins of the city as part of a national monitoring project.
The industry is keen to see tough action against illegal tobacco sales, which the Government estimates costs the public purse up to £3.1 billion a year in tax revenue.
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It also says that counterfeit cigarettes are often made in unsanitary conditions which affects their content, and can be sold on street corners as part of criminal rings.
The Government is currently consulting on plans to introduce compulsory plain packaging to all cigarette packs which the industry fears will make it easier for counterfeits to be produced.