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A NEW survey has revealed 30 per cent of smokers in Wales are buying tobacco regularly from “non-shop” sources such as pubs, car boot sales and market stalls, which offer much lower prices than high street shops.

The survey, of 12,000 adult smokers across the UK by the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, also found 31 per cent of smokers were aware of illegal, smuggled and counterfeit tobacco being sold in their area, but only 11 per cent reported it to the authorities.

Earlier this month, the Argus revealed illegal tobacco – with a legal retail value of around a quarter of a million pounds – was found hidden in three city centre shops. Law-abiding city traders admitted they were losing trade because of the rogue industry becoming more prevalent in Newport.

The survey, which asked a series of questions in relation to smokers’ attitudes, awareness and behaviour, revealed saving money was the main motivator for buying illegal tobacco products.

Mike Goodall, regional manager of the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, said: “These results highlight the volume and widespread availability of illegal tobacco across the UK, which is causing untold damage to legitimate retail businesses.”