Wigan Council Trading Standards has revealed that over the past year the service has removed more than £200,000 worth of illegal tobacco and vaping products from sale.
Officers seized approximately 10,000 packets of illicit cigarettes and 14,000 illegal disposable vapes while inspecting premises last year. One shop in the Wallgate area of Wigan had £60,000 worth of illegal stock seized after previous warnings from Wigan Trading Standards that it was selling non-compliant products.
Wigan Trading Standards also recently worked with Greater Manchester Police in a successful raid on a residential property in Leigh. Around £80,000 worth of illegal tobacco and disposable e-cigarettes, as well as more than £30,000 worth of counterfeit stamps were confiscated in one of the biggest seizures of its kind in Wigan borough.
Councillor Dane Anderton, cabinet portfolio holder for police, crime and civil contingencies Wigan Council, said: “These seizures are vital to protect our residents and young people from unscrupulous traders.
“Illegal cigarettes, tobacco and e-cigarettes damage our local economy, with these businesses not paying tax to fund public services and undercutting the law-abiding shops. People are aware of the dangers of smoking, but illegal cigarettes are made with no regard to legal standards.
“Here in Wigan borough, we secured our first three-month Closure Order against a shop that was illegally selling e-cigarettes to children. We will continue to proactively target these shops and businesses that are operating outside the law.”