Illegal cigarettes seized in Doncaster shop raid

Dr Rupert Suckling, Assistant Director of Public Health at Doncaster Council.
Dr Rupert Suckling, Assistant Director of Public Health at Doncaster Council.

Trading Standards and South Yorkshire Police have seized around 6,000 packets of illicit cigarettes and half a kilogramme of fake rolling tobacco from a shop in Doncaster.

The items were taken in a raid which took place on Wednesday morning.

The illegal smoking materials were seized from a business in Balby, as part of a joint investigation which was carried out by the two agencies.

Neither South Yorkshire Police or Doncaster Council said that they could not reveal the name of the premises from which the cigarettes had been seized.

A spokesman said that this was due to the seizure forming part of an ongoing investigation which they did not want to risk compromising.

Doncaster Council’s cabinet member for communities and the environment, Coun Chris McGuinness, warned of the dangers of selling illegal cigarettes to the public.

He also appealed for anyone with information about illegal tobacco sales to contact the authorities to help them take action over the issue.

Coun McGuinness, said: “Anyone involved in selling illegal tobacco is encouraging people, including children, to smoke by providing a cheap source.

“These products are dangerous, and offenders need to understand that they will face consequences if they choose to sell them.

“I would urge anyone with information about the supply of illicit tobacco to contact us via the Citizen’s Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.”

Doncaster’s director of public health, Dr Rupert Suckling, also added his concerns about the impact illegal tobacco products could have on people’s health.

Dr Suckling said: “All tobacco is harmful, but the supply of illegal cigarettes seriously undermines the drive to reduce smoking, fuels organised criminality and is often a gateway for young people to becoming addicted to a habit which prematurely kills over half its users.”