Oxford shop fined over £3,000 worth of illegal shisha tobacco

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A store in Oxford has been recently fined £3,000 for trying to sell illegal shisha tobacco, stated reports on Tuesday (21).

According to local reports, more than 21,000 grams of shisha tobacco, which is usually smoked using a pipe – was discovered at Pak Halal Erdem Food Centre- which trades as Erdem Food Centre in Cowley.

Trading standards visited the store on 6 May 2021 as part of Operation CeCe, a national trading standards initiative in partnership with HMRC, the court heard. The shisha tobacco was discovered in 113-unit packs that were found hidden behind the counter. 

Reports further stated that none of the packets were labelled with health warnings, and the vast majority made reference to a taste, smell or flavouring, all of which are prohibited.

The company director, Cihan Sigirtmac, 48, pleaded guilty to six offences under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2016.

The company was fined a total of £3000 with Sigirtmac personally also being fined £600.

The court also ordered the seized shisha tobacco to be destroyed.

Jody Kerman, Oxfordshire County Council’s Head of Trading Standards, said: “In a typical shisha session of about one hour, a shisha smoker can inhale the same amount of toxins as a cigarette smoker consuming over 100 cigarettes. Like cigarette smoking, these toxins put shisha smokers at risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases, cancers, nicotine addiction, and other health effects.

In the last 12 months, Oxfordshire County Council, as part of Operation CeCe, has seized nearly 750,000 illegal cigarettes and nearly 60,000 grams of illegal hand-rolling and shisha tobacco.