Illicit cigarettes and rolling tobacco with a street value of £60,000 have been seized from a house in Knaresborough.
The seizure of 100,000 cigarettes and 70kg of rolling tobacco is the result of a joint operation between North Yorkshire County Council’s Trading Standards Officers and North Yorkshire Police. Trading Standards is now investigating the source of the illicit tobacco products to prevent further supplies being distributed across the county.
“As well costing our economy in lost tobacco duty, smoking illicit cigarettes and rollups can be very dangerous” said Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire. “Because their manufacture is completely unregulated they can contain products that make them an even greater hazard to health than regulated tobacco.
“In addition the packaging has none of the hard hitting images and messages designed to remind people of the wide range of health harms smoking can cause that legal cigarette packaging now carries”.
Tackling the dangers of legal and illegal tobacco is an important part of the County Council’s work. Smoking continues to be the biggest preventable cause of ill health and early death in Britain and kills over 1000 people every year in North Yorkshire alone.
Graham Venn, Assistant Director North Yorkshire County Council Trading Standards added “We have a zero tolerance approach to the supply of illicit tobacco and encourage the reporting of any illegal activity through the Citizens Advice Bureau on 08454 04 05 06.
“We will continue to work with our colleagues in Public Health and North Yorkshire Police to actively reduce the amount of illegal tobacco products available in our communities”.