3rd January 2024

Staffs TS nabs illegal cigarettes & vapes

Officers from Staffordshire Trading Standards have removed thousands of illegal products from sale.


By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
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Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards Officers have seized more than £5,000 worth of illegal vapes and cigarettes from two businesses in Tamworth as part of ongoing work to stub out illicit smoking products in the county.

Assisted by tobacco detection dog Griff from BWY Canine, Officers seized a total of 7,419 cigarettes, 2.1 kg of hand-rolling tobacco and 79 vapes with a capacity that far exceeded the legal limit. The products had a combined value of £5,459.

The raids were conducted as part of two initiatives led by National Trading Standards (NTS): Operation Joseph, which has been set up to tackle the supply and sale of illegal vapes and e-cigarettes; and Operation CeCe, an HMRC-backed project to combat the supply and sale of illegal tobacco.

Since April 2023, Staffordshire Trading Standards has seized £174,350 worth of illicit products, including almost 9,000 vapes and 60,000 cigarettes.

Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said: “We are committed to removing these harmful products from Staffordshire’s marketplace.  A legal vape has an estimated 600 puffs but we have seized nearly 9,000 illegal vapes advertising up to 15 times that amount. We have also noticed a worrying trend of these illicit products being marketed and sold to underage people, which we are determined to put a stop to.”

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