Illegal tobacco, e-cigarettes and shisha

The trade in illegal tobacco has serious consequences to health and crime in our community. We work closely with the police, HMRC and other partners to tackle this issue.

The problems with illegal tobacco include:

  • its lower price discourages smokers from quitting and encourages them to smoke more
  • it is not labelled with health warnings and other legal information
  • there is no quality control as to what goes into counterfeit products
  • it steals business away from legitimate tobacco sellers
  • it's linked to low level and large scale organised crime, nationally and internationally
  • it's a fire hazard - counterfeit cigarettes don't comply with legal requirements designed to reduce the chances of fire

Types of illegal products on sale include:

  • illicit (duty-free) - foreign products brought into the UK in illegal quantities and resold
  • counterfeit - fake packaging made to look like premium brands, containing cheap and low quality tobacco
To report the sale of counterfeit or illegal tobacco anonymously, contact London Trading Standards

Page last updated: 17 May 2023


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