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    Illegal tobacco worth £40k seized in Swindon under crackdown

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    More than £40,000 of illegal tobacco and vapes have been seized by enforcement officers in Swindon, state recent reports under an operation focused on dangers of smoking.

    Public health specialist Divya Bassi told Swindon Borough Council that there was a focus on education and getting pregnant mums off tobacco.

    “A joint operation undertaken in August 2023 saw enforcement teams seize illegal tobacco and nicotine products worth approximately £40,000 within Swindon,” she added.

    Bassi added the council took a “zero-tolerance approach to catching traders selling illegal tobacco and other smoking or vaping products”.

    She told the borough council that replacing tobacco with vapes, teaching children about the danger of using vapes, and a crackdown on the illegal sale of tobacco is having a positive effect. The town’s borough council had previously set out a strategy to reduce the use of tobacco in the town.

    Bassi said there was also a focus on getting pregnant and new mums to stop smoking.

    “Applications were submitted for ongoing provision of vapes within the smoking in pregnancy service provided by Great Western Hospital, for GWH staff and for provision by community stop smoking services across Swindon,” she said.

    “All applications were successful and the scheme will begin to be rolled out across Swindon in early 2024.”

    Councillor Lawrence Elliott said: “This is excellent work to reduce tobacco consumption and can only be applauded. This will benefit the people of Swindon for years to come.”

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