“We will get you” – Council crackdown on illegal tobacco

Published Wednesday 27 July 2016 at 15:37

Action to tackle illegal tobacco and shisha pipes has seen massive amounts of contraband seized by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

Over recent months Trading Standards and Environmental Health Officers from the Council have worked alongside the Police and HM Revenue and Customs to tackle the sale of illegal tobacco in the borough.

Visits to businesses in Blackburn and Darwen have resulted in tobacco and shisha pipes being taken away which will be destroyed. In 2015 and 2016 over 23,500 cigarettes, 18.1Kg of tobacco and 39 Packets of chewing tobacco were seized.

While the majority of tobacco sold in the UK is legal, illegal tobacco makes up around 11% of the total tobacco market.

Children and young smokers are often targeted by people who sell illegal cigarettes, making it even easier for them to get hooked on smoking. It is illegal to smoke tobacco in enclosed public places, including shisha bars.

Councillor Jim Smith, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said:

If you are selling illegal tobacco or allowing shisha pipes to be used in enclosed public areas, we will find you and we will get you. This could result in big fines, imprisonment, court time and a criminal record. The teams have done a great job here and I am really pleased that these illegal goods are off the streets.

This is not a victimless crime. The people making money from illegal tobacco do not care who they sell to, even if it is children. That these cigarettes are cheaper also makes it harder for people to quit which obviously has a bad effect on their health.

Counterfeit tobacco can contain all kinds of substances and can cause a lot of harm to people’s health, and to our communities. If you’re buying dodgy tobacco you have no idea what you’re smoking.”

If you wish to report information about illegal tobacco please phone: (01254) 267677 or email publicprotection@blackburn.gov.uk




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