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Millions of illegal fags seized

Created on 19/03/2022 @ 09:47

Local trading standards officers have played their part in seizing more than three million illegal cigarettes in Wales over the past year, it has been revealed.

Around 17% of the local adult population, the lowest it has ever been, is said to be classed as a smoker, and the clamp down on illegal trade has highlighted the level of cheap fags and tobacco that is on the local black market.

With 5,000 people dying in Wales every year due to smoking, Trading Standards is also supporting efforts to encourage people to stop smoking and reduce the criminal demand.

In 2021, supported by funding from HMRC under Operation Cece, Trading Standards worked with other agencies to seize 2.8 million cigarettes, worth £750,000, and nearly half a ton of rolling tobacco.

Roger Mapleson, Lead Officer for Trading Standards Wales on Tobacco, said: “The illegal tobacco market presents a major threat to health, particularly the health of children. Illegal tobacco sellers don’t care about age restrictions or other laws that restrict the sale of tobacco and make cigarettes easily available to kids at affordable prices.

“Those that sell illegal tobacco are at end of an international supply chain. The money generated from sales funds organised crime that is connected to other illegal activity including other illegal drugs.

“Many of the seizures are currently the subject of investigations that will lead to the prosecution of the individuals responsible. Trading Standards will continue to tackle illegal tobacco across the country and anyone involved in the supply of illegal tobacco can expect to have stock seized and criminal action taken against them.”

You can report illegal tobacco at Alternatively, report it to the charity Crimestoppers, 100% anonymously, on freephone 0800 555 111.

If you want to stop smoking visit

PICTURE: A sniffer dog is being used to smoke out illegal cigarettes.


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