A crackdown by Blackpool Council Trading Standards team has resulted in more than £130,000 worth of counterfeit and smuggled tobacco being seized and destroyed over a 12-month period.
Between February 2022 and February 2023 Officers from Blackpool Trading Standards targeted the sale and supply of illicit tobacco products as part of Operation CeCe, a National Trading Standards scheme in partnership with HMRC. As a result, huge quantities of smuggled and counterfeit tobacco were taken off the market and have now been destroyed with the help of ENVECO, Blackpool Council’s Waste management service.
Support from Operation CeCe has enabled the council’s Trading Standards team to increase the number and frequency of visits to retailers that they have been able to carry out.
Councillor Paula Burdess, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Street Scene and Neighbourhoods, said: “Not only is it illegal but there is also a high risk of these tobacco products causing serious harm to the health of residents and visitors.
“I am delighted at the success of this targeted operation as it sends out a clear message of zero tolerance, and we will continue to disrupt the sale of these products. Appropriate enforcement action will be taken against anyone involved in the sale and supply of illicit tobacco products.”