A CAMPAIGN to involve communities in fighting the trade in cheap illegal tobacco has been launched in western Cheshire.

All tobacco products contain around 4000 chemicals, including hydrogen cyanide, radioactive gas (Radon), lighter fuel, petrol fumes and formaldehyde.

But illegal tobacco is unregulated so there’s no way of knowing whether extra ingredients have been added such as rat’s droppings, sawdust and floor sweepings.

Illegal cigarettes and tobacco are usually sold at half or even a third of the price in legitimate retailers and in a wide range of places such as the workplace, pubs, private houses – even ice cream vans.

Cheap, smuggled and fake tobacco is often linked to other crimes such as the sale of illegal alcohol, drugs, and even people-trafficking and terrorism.

Most people, even smokers, want something done. For instance, in a recent YouGov survey, three-quarters of those who took part supported tougher sentences for tobacco smugglers. Nearly nine out of 10 people wanted a crackdown on those who are selling to children.

You can pass on information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or to the website www.crimestoppers-uk.org.