Almost 200,000 ‘illicit’ cigarettes were seized by Trading Standards officers across Lancashire last year, almost five times the number confiscated six years ago.

And the number of people prosecuted for selling counterfeit and non-duty tobacco products has also rocketed, an investigation by The Gazette has found.

The price of cigarettes has almost doubled since smoking in public was banned ten years ago, from £5.33 to £9.91. Up to 88 per cent goes on excise duty and VAT, it was estimated.

Reported by BlackPool Gazette. You can read the full story here. 

I am a journalist and author. I am a journalist at the UK edition of WIRED magazine. In 2015, my first book Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. My second book Reed Hastings: Building Netflix, was published in March 2020. I created FOI Directory in 2012 and have maintained it in my spare time ever since.