About 20,000 cigarettes and four kg of tobacco worth more than £12,000 have been seized at three Scarborough shops in North Yorkshire county, stated recent reports.
A trading standards operation including specialist tobacco detection dogs, which can find concealed tobacco and cigarettes were used in the raid. A few items were, in fact, concealed in a wall cavity that would not have otherwise been discovered during the raids, said the local reports.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Derek Bastiman, Executive Member for Trading Standards, said, “The supply of illicit tobacco will not be tolerated. We will continue to adopt a zero tolerance approach to these matters and use every enforcement technique at our disposal to disrupt this activity.”
The County Council’s Tobacco Control Strategy encourages communities to reshape social norms so that tobacco becomes less desirable, less acceptable and less accessible.
The campaign is part of the County Council’s commitment to the aspirations of its tobacco strategy, which supports Breathe 2025, the regional initiative working to ensure that the next generation of children are born and raised in a place free from tobacco, and where smoking is unusual.
Louise Wallace, Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire, said, “All tobacco is harmful, but the illegal tobacco market and in particular the availability of cheap cigarettes make it harder for smokers to quit and remain smoke-free. For those who want to quit, there is help available.”
Illicit tobacco is cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco that is counterfeit or has been smuggled into Britain without tax having been paid. It is far cheaper than genuine tobacco, which makes it more accessible to smokers and therefore makes quitting more difficult for smokers. Evidence suggests that illicit tobacco supply funds organised crime.