Suffolk & Norfolk: Illegal tobacco

10 April 2012, 12:15 | Updated: 10 April 2012, 16:40

Campaigns are starting in both Suffolk and Norfolk today to try and stop people from buying illegal tobacco and also finding the people who sell it.

Illegal tobacco, which comes in the form of smuggled or counterfeit cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco, is sold at around half the price of legal tobacco.

Studies suggest that young people may be up to four times more price sensitive than adults, making them a particular target. 

Access to cut-price tobacco makes it easier for children to smoke and can bring them into contact with criminals. According to new research, almost a third of people in Suffolk and Norfolk have been offered illegal tobacco.


Trading Standards will be taking to the streets in both counties this month to promote this important message in the local community.

Elspeth Gibson, Chair of the Suffolk Tobacco Control Alliance; 'The criminal gangs that sell smuggled cigarettes are not concerned with who buys them, and do not care who they sell to.' 'Unfortunately this often includes children and young people who are under age. As well as causing criminals to prey upon our children, purchasing illegal tobacco brings other crime to our communities and undermines legitimate businesses.'

The campaign is asking members of the community to: 

  • TALK: Help stop the flow of illegal tobacco by telling friends and family about the issue
  • PLEDGE: To support the campaign against illegal tobacco
  • REPORT: To share any information about illegal tobacco in the area by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
Maureen Cleall is from Trading Standards and tells Heart more about the problem...