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Hundreds spoken with and one arrested during illegal tobacco operation in Suffolk

Illegal Tobacco Unit ANL-160927-161327009
Illegal Tobacco Unit ANL-160927-161327009

More than 200 people were spoken with an close to 100 pieces of intelligence gathered following Suffolk Trading Standards week-long illegal tobacco operation.

An Illegal Tobacco Unit, including sniffer dog Yo Yo toured the county, demonstrating how they help Trading Standards detect illegal tobacco, with officers speaking with members of the public about how to spot and report cases of illegal cigarettes and tobacco.

The roadshow visited Ipswich, Felixstowe, Lowestoft, Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds.

A 61-year-old man was also arrested in Haverhill following intelligence received from a member of the public, that indicated that he was selling illegal tobacco. Trading Standards are working with another agency to investigate the matter further.

Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, also paid a visit the Illegal Tobacco Unit when it was in her constituency.

Suffolk County Councillor Tony Goldson, Cabinet Member for Health, said: “The roadshow presented lots of information to the public on the health risks caused by smoking as well as the dangers of illegal tobacco.

“Substances contained in illegal tobacco are quite scary as they are not controlled – some have been found to contain wood chippings and rat poison.

“Hopefully the roadshow has acted as a deterrent to people thinking about taking up smoking.”

Suffolk County Councillor Matthew Hicks, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “The Illegal Tobacco Unit roadshow has been successful not only in educating the public, but also in receiving intelligence that will be acted on.

“Thanks to everyone who visited the Illegal Tobacco Unit as it made its way across Suffolk and if anyone knows of a trader selling illegal tobacco, they can report them to Trading Standards via 03454 040506.”

People can keep up to date with the work of Suffolk Trading Standards by joining their email mailing list. Every week details of scams, rogues and unsafe products are sent out. For more information on the scheme and how to join, go to www.suffolk.gov.uk/JoinTheFight

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