More than 70,000 illicit and ‘dangerous’ cigarettes seized in Rotherham
A warning of the dangers of black market trading has been issued after suspected illicit cigarettes were taken off the streets in a major trading standards operation.
Council enforcement officers, along with police and sniffer dog specialists, swooped on four premises in Rotherham.
The raids were as a result of test purchases made, and intelligence received.
Searches revealed a significant quantity of suspected illicit cigarettes, that were seized along with 148 packets of suspect rolling tobacco.
Investigations are ongoing.
Following the raids, Rotherham Council again warns people of the dangers of smoking black market cigarettes.
As well as the risks to health, some of these illicit cigarettes do not go out when they are not being smoked and continue to burn, resulting in a fire hazard.
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Rotherham Council’s assistant director for community safety and street scene, Tom Smith, said smokers should be on their guard against buying suspect cigarettes or tobacco.
“Smokers who buy either brands such as Jin Ling, Pect or Minsk, or counterfeit versions of well-known brands, could be putting themselves at serious risk from these dangerous items,” he said.
“These illicit cigarettes typically retail for between £3 and £4 and we would urge anyone who is aware of premises selling suspect brands or counterfeit items to report it.
“We will continue to act on intelligence received and target premises suspected of being involved in this illicit activity to prevent harm to the public.”
Anyone who wishes to report concerns around suspect cigarettes should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 or online at: