The cheapest packet of fake cigarettes in the county has been found on sale at a shop in Ashfield.
Now Nottinghamshire County Council has promised to step up its crackdown on the illegal trade.
The packet of 20 cigarettes was priced up at just £3 at the shop, which has not been named. The surprise discovery was just part of the work being carried out by a council trading standards task force, acting on intelligence gathered from the public.
A total of £100,000 worth of illegal tobacco, from about 20 different shops in the county, has been seized. Five of these shops have now shut down, and one man was sent to prison for 21 weeks for selling counterfeit items.
Of 11 brands of illegal cigarettes tested during the last year, ten failed safety tests and carried a much higher risk of causing fires when left lit and unattended.
The council has now announced that the task force will continue for another year, in liaison with the police who will be able to arrest suspects on the spot.
Said Coun Glynn Gilfoyle: “This is vital work. Illegal tobacco brings crime into our communities and undermines legitimate retailers.”