A health warning has been issued about buying counterfeit cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol.
Barnsley Council chiefs have employed two enforcement officers to deal with counterfeit and bootlegged tobacco and alcohol in the town.
Councillor Roy Miller, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet spokesperson for Development, Environment and Culture, said: “In a time when every penny counts, some smokers may be tempted to take up the offer of the man down the pub or in town selling cheap cigarettes or alcohol.
“Counterfeit cigarettes can seriously damage the health of people who smoke them. While fake cigarettes do contain tobacco, there are also several other ingredients in there too that you may not have bargained for. It’s not uncommon to find sand, plastic and other toxic material such as arsenic and benzene.
“Suddenly that ‘bargain’ doesn’t seem so good, as you are just buying a product that is far inferior.”
The council is warning that anyone found selling counterfeit tobacco can face an unlimited fine or up to 10 years in prison.
Sellers of illegal alcohol can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.
To report this involved call Barnsley Council’s Regulatory Services on 01226 772468.