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Over 7,000 illegal vapes and cigarettes seized from two Tamworth shops

Posted on Friday 29th December 2023
Griff the dog NEWSROOM

Griff the dog with the seized illegal vapes and cigarettes.

Over £5,000 of illegal vapes and cigarettes have been seized from two Tamworth shops. 

Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards officers, supported by Staffordshire Police, made the seizures on Monday 20 November. 

They were guided by the trusty nose of Griff the two-year-old specialist tobacco detection dog, accompanied by handler Stuart Phillips. 

Officers confiscated 79 oversized vapes that day with an estimated 9,000 puffs each, which is seven times the legal limit. 

Other seizures include 7,419 cigarettes and 2.1kg of hand rolling tobacco with an overall total value of £5,459. 

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. 

“Our Trading Standards officers rely on intelligence provided by the public about the sale of illegal products so, if you have any information, please call our confidential tip-off line which you can find on our website.” 

The raids were part of two National Trading Standards initiatives: Operation Joseph - tackling the supply and sale of illegal vapes and e-cigarettes - and Operation CeCe - tackling the supply and sale of illegal tobacco. 

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Social Care announced £3 million of funding to crack down on the sales of e-cigarettes to under 18s. The proposals are supporting local Trading Standards services, with enforcement activities including test purchasing and checking products are compliant. 

Since April 2023, £174,350 of illicit products have been seized including almost 9,000 vapes and nearly 60,000 cigarettes. 

You can report illegal business and trading practices anonymously by calling Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards confidential line on 01785 330 356. 

Watch on YouTube: Trading Standards seize over 7,000 illegal vapes and cigarettes from two Tamworth shops

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