Doncaster Council seized more than 200,000 illicit cigarettes and 80 kg of rolling tobacco in the past year. bosses have revealed.
The figures were released to co-incide with World No Tobacco Day 2015, this week.
Between April 2014 and April 2015 Doncaster Council seized 800 counterfeit cigarettes, 216,340 genuine non-UK duty paid cigarettes, 24 kg of counterfeit hand-rolling tobacco and 60 kg of genuine non-UK duty paid hand-rolling tobacco. This comes on the back of a recent campaign to alert the public to the dangers of illicit tobacco which ran across South Yorkshire, when almost 40 separate pieces of intelligence were anonymously provided by the public about the location of criminals profiting from illicit tobacco sales.
Trading Standards officers from the council have been raising awareness of the issue on at Armthorpe Children’s Centre and in the customer service ‘one-stop-shop’ at the Civic Office.
Councillor Chris McGuinness, Cabinet Member for Communities and the Voluntary Sector, said: “Fake cigarettes are produced by organised criminal gangs who make big profits from products which can be even more dangerous than genuine cigarettes.
“I would encourage anyone who has suspicions about the sale of fake cigarettes and tobacco to report it anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and partners mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce consumption. This year WHO is calling on countries to work together to end the illicit trade of tobacco products.
According to WHO the illicit trade of tobacco products is a major global concern, including health, legal and economic, governance and corruption. WHO says that the market may account for as much as one in every 10 cigarettes consumed globally, according to studies, including information supplied by the global customs community.