23 November 2022 •

Cheap and Illicit Tobacco

Help us stamp out illegal tobacco in Sheffield for good.

Cheap tobacco and cigarettes may seem like it’s not harming anyone but selling and buying illegal tobacco is not victimless. And if it’s cheap, it’s highly likely to be illegal.

These cheap and illicit tobacco products and cigarettes most likely don’t adhere to UK legislation, are illegal, often smuggled and sometimes fake. There are known links to organised crime, and since the products aren’t regulated, there are health risks because you can’t be be sure what is in unregulated items.

Furthermore, the cheap prices make the products more accessible by children enabling them to get hooked on deadly tobacco addiction from a young age.

The availability of cheap and illicit tobacco and cigarettes impacts negatively on local communities across Sheffield.

To raise awareness of this issue in local areas with a known presence this campaign encourages people to not only avoid purchasing illegal cigarettes but to report known sellers.

From data provided by Trading Standards, the online campaign targeted locations with known “Fag Houses” and Trade Premises that have been known to sell illegal products. There are real, negative effects of buying and selling illegal tobacco such as damaging legitimate businesses across the city, through to cases of modern day slavery and exploitation.

It’s important to raise awareness of the power communities have to take action and support a smokefree city by not buying illegal tobacco and reporting those who sell.

You can read more about cheap and illicit tobacco on our news pages:

Information for Smokefree Partners

Tackling cheap and illicit tobacco continues to be an issue and needs collective action from all of us. From reporting known sellers to educating people on the effects of cheap and illicit on our communities.

Key messages

  • The buying and selling of cheap and illicit tobacco puts money into the hands of criminals and can help fund crime in local areas
  • The sale of cheap and illicit tobacco is damaging to local businesses which sell legitimate tobacco products
  • Cheap and illicit tobacco relies on exploitation and has links to modern-day slavery
  • Trading Standards needs the help of people within local communities to report people selling cheap and illicit tobacco products

Key statistics

  • In previous years, reports from the public helped remove 116kg of loose tobacco, 190,000 cigarettes, and 100,000+ tobacco products from circulation in Sheffield, all of which were illegal items.
  • The supply or sale of illegal tobacco products comes with severe penalties such as up to 10 years in prison, an unlimited fine, and revocation of licenses.


Sophie Squire

Account Executive

0114 221 0378 Email Sophie Squire