YOUNG people are being put in risky situations as they visit the houses of sellers of illegal tobacco, Herefordshire Council has warned.

Illegal tobacco products include, cigarettes, hand-rolling tobacco, shisha or other tobacco goods that are counterfeit or have been smuggled or bootlegged into the UK.

Children and young smokers are often targeted by people who sell illegal cigarettes, making it even easier for them to get hooked on smoking, according to the council.

Director of Public Health Karen Wright said: "One in two long term smokers will die from their addiction.

"National figures indicate that fewer people than ever are now smoking, however illegal cigarettes are often responsible for encouraging children to take up smoking.

"They are normally sold at pocket money prices from people who are willing to sell the underage market.

"We are concerned that young and vulnerable people may visit private addresses to buy cigarettes. This puts them into risky situations with people who might also be selling alcohol and drugs.

"Every cigarette you smoke harms your health, our best advice is not to start smoking, but if are already a smoker, quitting improves your health.

During the month of October, an NHS campaign encourages smokers to give up the habit.

For more information about Stoptober visit

Besides the negative health effects, the sale of illegal tobacco severely damages honest local businesses, is often linked to organised crime and other serious criminal activity and is estimated to cost the tax payer £2 billion nationally.

People can help to keep illegal tobacco off the streets by reporting it. 

If you have information regarding the sale of illegal tobacco within Herefordshire contact Trading Standards on 01432 261761.