Newsagents in Sheffield fear a rise in the use of bootlegged and smuggled cigarettes is threatening their livelihood.
Business owners across the city are calling for a crackdown on tax-avoiding and potentially harmful goods after a study found almost a quarter of cigarette smokers in the area are contributing nothing to national coffers.
Research carried out by MS Intelligence found the ‘non domestic’ rate of cigarettes smoked in South Yorkshire grew from 21.1 per cent in 2011 to 25 per cent last year.
Graham Morement, of Morement’s News on Ecclesall Road, said: “The sale of cigarettes is one of the things keeping newsagents going. I’m against so many fakes and tax-free cigarettes being smoked.”
Jane Beaumont, of Spar in Stannington, added: “We sell a lot of cigarettes. It’s a big part of business and I am always surprised at how many people still smoke.
“It is worrying.”