As part of a continuing crackdown on the sale of illicit tobacco by Newport City Council Trading Standards, four more shops have been handed three-month ASB closure orders – bringing the total number of retailers in the city that have been forced to suspend trading as a result of selling illegal tobacco to 16.
It is estimated that combined, the closures will have prevented illegal tobacco sales of more than £500,000. The sale of illegal tobacco undermines key tobacco control measures and funds criminal activity in local communities.
The investigations were led by the council’s Trading Standards team supported by Gwent Police, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Ash Wales, South Wales Fire and Rescue, Newport NOW, HM Customs and Excise, representatives from the tobacco industry and officers from Operation CeCe, an HMRC-funded initiative set up to tackle illegal tobacco.
A survey by Ash Wales has previously found that the illegal tobacco market makes up 15% of all tobacco sales in Wales, with a higher prevalence in deprived areas.