How to spot illicit cigarettes as Trading Standards in Doncaster uncover thousands in just 12 months

Investigators with a haul of illicit cigarettes after an operation in Sheffield
Investigators with a haul of illicit cigarettes after an operation in Sheffield
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Doncaster trading standards officers have removed around 170,000 illicit cigarettes in just 12 months.

Doncaster trading standards officers have removed around 170,000 illicit cigarettes in just 12 months.

Operations run across the town saw specialist sniffer dogs and investigation teams uncover 169,640 cigarettes and 54kg of hand rolling tobacco from Doncaster premises between April 2016 and April 2017.

Doncaster health chiefs have warned people about the use of illicit cigarettes which are cheaper in price, have no tax paid on them, benefits organised crime and can be often counterfeit.

Some of the products are set to be so dangerous they do not self-extinguish when not being smoked - this is a legal requirement to reduces the risk of deadly fires.

The main indicators of illicit cigarettes are low price, lack of health warnings and incorrect packaging.

But investigations across the town uncovered many products which were contained in highly sophisticated packages making them harder to spot.

The council on the back of the findings run educational awareness programmes to highlight the dangers of illicit tobacco.

The illicit tobacco market accounts for as much as one in every 10 cigarettes consumed globally, according to research.

Dr Rupert Suckling, director of public health at Doncaster Council said: “All tobacco is harmful, but the supply of illicit cigarettes seriously undermines the drive to reduce smoking, fuels organised crime and is often a gateway for young people to becoming addicted to a habit that prematurely kills over half of its users.”

If you have any information about the supply of illicit tobacco please contact Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or visit their website atwww.citizensadvice.org.uk

For advice on stopping smoking please contact the Yorkshire Smokefree Service on 0800 612 0011 or visit www.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk