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1 April 2014, 06:00
Hearts been told the increase in cheap illegal cigarettes will cause more house fires.
Trading Standards has joined forces with Fire Officer in the Hinckley area of Leicestershire to highlight the serious fire risks posed by cheap, illegal cigarettes. Legal cigarettes are made with special self-extinguishing paper that if left unattended will go out by itself.
Fake cigarettes don't use this paper which places smokers at a far greater risk of house fires.
Pam Posnett from Trading Standards, said: ''We would never encourage anyone to start smoking as cigarettes are harmful to your health but these cheap imitations are far worse''
''You might think you are getting a bargain, but what you're actually buying is very unsafe and could contain a whole range of harmful additives such as asbestos, dead flies and even rat droppings.
''We want to get illegal tobacco off the streets because of the danger it poses to our communities and would appreciate your help in helping us to crack down on this.''
Steve Robinson-Day, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service's Safer Neighbourhoods Station Manager, said: ''Fake cigarettes are a serious fire safety hazard. They have already been implicated in a fire death and are simply not worth buying because of the risks they pose.''
If you have any information to help Trading Standards stamp out the sale of cheap tobacco, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.