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Animal dung discovered in 'dodgy' cigs; HEALTH: Perils of illicit tobacco products highlighted.

Byline: Emma Stone

HEALTH bosses are warning smokers in Warwickshire they could get more than they bargain for if they buy "dodgy" tobacco products in the county.

Animal droppings and floor sweepings are just some of the substances that have been found in illicit products.

Smokers will be warned of the dangers at an NHS roadshow in Nuneaton on July 8. The event, which will be held at the Ropewalk Shopping Centre, near Next, between 10am and 4pm, will also be offering advice to those wanting to quit smoking.

The roadshow is the latest part of a hard-hitting poster and radio advertising campaign from the Department of Health and HM Revenue and Customs highlighting some of the unpleasant ingredients that can be found in illicit tobacco products.

Paul Hooper, regional tobacco policy manager for the West Midlands, said: "Buying cheap cigarettes from a man down the pub or from someone returning from their holidays may seem like a great deal.

"However, they are often made in unhygienic conditions and can contain ingredients like insects and sawdust.

"People often say these cigarettes taste different and this unusual mix of ingredients is often the reason why.

"If people are looking to save money it's better that people explore the help available to stop smoking altogether rather than seek out cheaper alternatives to shop bought tobacco. They might be cheap but they are still a rip-off."

Selling these cigarettes is also illegal and anyone caught dealing in their place of work could find themselves facing disciplinary action or even the sack, with the company also facing punishment. n For more information about illicit tobacco products and how they affect you and your business visit www.dodgycigs.co.uk.

n For information on how to stop smoking call 0800 085 2917, text LIFE to 808000 or visit www.smokefreewarwickshire.org.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 4, 2009
Words:306
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