Search

Brick Lane amongst illegal tobacco sale ‘hotspots’ in London

PUBLISHED: 15:30 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:31 17 May 2017

Illegal tobacco seized by undercover shoppers

Illegal tobacco seized by undercover shoppers

JTI

More than one third of London’s smokers have purchased illegal tobacco, some of which contained asbestos and human excrement, new research has revealed.

Undercover shoppers found one in eight London retailers – including shops in Tower Hamlets – are selling illegal tobacco products with Brick Lane being highlighted as one of the worst affected areas.

The highest rates of sales were found in convenience stores where some retailers were selling cigarettes for as little as £3 a pack.

The shocking findings by Japan Tobacco International (JTI) also revealed that many of the “under the counter” cigarettes came with added nasty ingredients such as mould, dust, dead flies and rat droppings.

JTI has raised the concerns ahead of the introduction of plain packaging and restriction on pack sizes of tobacco on May 20 which it says could worsen the illegal tobacco trade in the capital.

This is because it will become easier and cheaper to produce counterfeit cigarette packs which could mislead customers into believing they are buying a genuine product.

Young people will also be at greater risk of being targeted by organised criminal gangs.

Already, 62 per cent of people say they would buy illegal tobacco products to save money.

Steve Wilkins, JTI’s anti-illegal trade operations director and former Det Ch Supt said: “Smokers buying cheap fake cigarettes and tobacco on the streets of the UK may be getting more than they bargain for as these fake imitations has been found to contain asbestos, mould, dust, dead flies, rat droppings and even human excrement.

“The availability of cheap illegal tobacco across towns and cities in the UK is damaging local communities and along with retailers, suppliers and the government we all have a role to play to combat the issue.

“Anyone with information about this type of crime should contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Related articles

Latest East London News Stories

A paedophile has been jailed for historical child sexual abuse at a former Tower Hamlets children’s home where youngsters were in council care in the 1970s and 80s.

The Boundary Commission has announced revised proposals for changes to constituency seats.

Night Tube drivers are set to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over their career progression.

07:00

Nominations close today to elect a new neighbourhood council in London’s East End to run the Spitafields Forum public consultations on the future of the district.

06:50

Volunteers have been trained to delve into what makes people lonely in a study in east London by Tower Hamlets Health and Wellbeing Board.

Yesterday, 17:08

You’d have been forgiven for thinking you were seeing the east London sky through an Instagram filter this afternoon, as Storm Ophelia turned the capital a strange shade of yellow.

Yesterday, 12:57

Young people with mental health problems who have had “bad hospital experiences” are helping train staff in east London to improve urgent medical treatment.

Yesterday, 12:15

A senior police officer has said it is “not practical” for officers to investigate crimes such as shoplifting and criminal damage as his force bids to save £400 million.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now