Pictures of illicit cigarettes potentially for sale on Lancashire’s streets have been released in a bid to bring dodgy traders to justice.
Two brands manufactured specifically for the black market, called Jin Ling and L&M are suspected to be being sold.
In 2012 the Evening Post launched a campaign to tackle the county’s deadly black market tobacco trade, with 40 illicit tobacco dealers prosecuted while it ran.
It raised awareness of how the criminal underworld profits from smuggling illicit cigarettes and tobacco into Lancashire and selling them on the black market, often to the most impressionable in society.
County Council figures suggest around 50,000 people in Lancashire smoke illegal cigarettes, many believing they are getting a good deal without realising the sickening story behind Lancashire’s illegal tobacco trade.
Pedlars who sell illegal tobacco - for cheaper prices than legal cigarettes - make it affordable for people to smoke, reducing the incentive for people to quit and leading to more deaths from smoking related illnesses.
Often recruiting lower scale runners – including children – to do their dirty work, the products are peddled in the poorest, most disadvantaged communities where criminals know residents cannot afford full priced cigarettes.
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