THOUSANDS of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco products have been seized in Trading Standards raids on shops in Chester and Cheshire West.
This week officers visited a number of premises in the city as well as in Northwich and Winsford, as part of Operation Nottingham – a crackdown on traders selling illegal cigarettes and tobacco.
On July 27, officers seized 37,040 cigarettes, 1,600g of hand-rolling tobacco and 289 e-cigarettes.
This is in addition to a seizure earlier in the month of 13,120 cigarettes, 4,300g of tobacco and 691 e-cigarettes.
All of the goods were found to be non-compliant with the Tobacco and Allied Products Regulations 2016, the Standardized Packaging (Tobacco Products) Regulations 2015 and/or the Trade Marks Act 1994.
Councilman Karen Shore, Cabinet Member for the Environment, Highways and Strategic Transportation, said, “This is a tremendous amount of illegal tobacco removed from our borough premises over the past few weeks.
“There can be a temptation when people see cheaper prices, but it comes at a cost to health, safety and our communities.
“Illegal tobacco supports other criminal activities and has many negative effects on communities, as well as poor health.”
Electronic cigarettes must meet certain requirements, including liquid capacity limits, nicotine content, and other labeling requirements.
The popularity of disposable e-cigarettes has led to an increase in the number of non-compliant products on the market.
All companies should be aware that it is their responsibility to ensure compliance with relevant legislation and that failure to comply may result in the seizure and destruction of inventory and in some cases prosecution.
Anyone wanting advice on selling e-cigarettes can contact [email protected]