Great news from Cornwall Council who have worked hard to remove illegal tobacco (often sold to children) from Cornish streets:
It’s Stoptober for illegal traders after Cornwall Council Trading Standards officers swooped on a home in Bodmin and seized a number of suspected counterfeit cigarettes alongside pouches of suspected illegal tobacco.
The raid, which also involved customs officers, took place on Thursday 18 October, as part of the Council’s ongoing fight to get illegal goods off the streets.
Cabinet portfolio holder for Environment and Public Protection Sue James, said: “People who sell cheap tobacco will sell to anyone including children at pocket money prices. We’ve received reports of sales to children as young as eight in Cornwall.
“It’s no small irony that this has occurred as people across Cornwall are being asked to give up cigarettes for good as part of the national Stoptober campaign. Access to cheap tobacco makes it too easy for our young people to smoke and develop a lifelong addiction to nicotine.
“Illegal tobacco costs hospitals and schools £2.5 billion a year nationally in lost revenue, on top of the extra burden that smokers place on the NHS through preventable illness.
“Since 1 April, Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards have seized tobacco products which will save over two and a half years of life, highlighting why this work is so important in not only tackling illegal activity but also in supporting a healthy Cornwall.”
People caught selling tobacco to under 18s can be fined up to £2500. Those involved in the supply of illegal tobacco can be sent to prison for up to 10 years and face an unlimited fine. HMRC may also impose further penalties and reclaim the lost revenue, and action can be taken to recover the proceeds of crime.
Investigations following the raid in Bodmin this week are ongoing. If you have any information that you would like to pass on concerning illegal tobacco sales in your area please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You do not need to give your name.