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Half of Bexley's smokers have been offered illegal cigarettes, survey reveals
NEARLY half of Bexley’s smokers have been offered illicit cigarettes in the past year, according to a survey.
The statistics put together by the South East London Illegal Tobacco Cluster also show that around 10 per cent of tobacco consumed in Bexley in the past year was illegal.
Of the 1,700 smokers surveyed, it is estimated 114 million illicit cigarettes, with a street value of £22m, are sold across south east London every year.
Illicit cigarettes do not comply with UK law because of the way they have been made or packaged and many have been smuggled into the UK without paying tax.
Bexley Council’s cabinet member for the environment and public realm Councillor Gareth Bacon said: "Illicit tobacco figures may be lower for Bexley when compared to some of the other boroughs taking part, but it does not mean there is not a problem in Bexley. Any trade in illicit tobacco is a problem.
"Parents in particular should bear in mind, that if a shop-keeper, street seller or neighbour is prepared to sell illicit cigarettes and tobacco to adults, they are just as likely to sell them to children."
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