AN ILLEGAL cigarette haul from Whitchurch secured over £3,000 worth of paraphernalia.

Shropshire Council’s trading standards team continues to tackle illegal tobacco sales as part of a regionally co-ordinated campaign.

Last year, trading standards seized 2,740 cigarettes and 4.65kg rolling tobacco with a value of £3,377 from The Local off-licence in Whitchurch.

The individual involved was successfully prosecuted for possession of counterfeit tobacco, the sale of tobacco to an underage person, and breaching UK Safety Regulations relating to the packaging of and health warnings on tobacco and related products.

The council’s licensing sub-committee subsequently revoked the premises licence as a result of the trading standards investigation.

Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s trading standards and licensing manager, said: “It’s important that communities support efforts to crack down on illegal cigarettes.

“Far from being a victimless crime, the trade in illegal tobacco creates a cheap source for children and young people.

“While all tobacco is harmful, the illegal tobacco market, and in particular the availability of cheap cigarettes, undermines Government health policies aimed at reducing the cost to the NHS of treating diseases caused by smoking.

“The loss to the taxpayer means less money being spent on local communities, schools and the NHS.

“It’s important that anyone suspicious of tobacco crime should get in touch,” she added.