Our City, Our Wellbeing, our new Corporate Strategy for the next four years is here

This plan outlines our vision and key priorities to create a thriving city for everyone. We've identified these priorities based on the challenges and opportunities facing our community.

View the Corporate Strategy here...

Week of Action crackdown shows the sale of illegal tobacco ‘will not be tolerated’

Published: Tuesday, 4th July 2023

A total of £27401.78 worth of illegal tobacco and vapes worth over £30,000 have been confiscated from premises across Stoke-on-Trent by Trading Standards teams in support of the Week of Action.

The haul was removed from shops across the city, following an operation by Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Trading Standards team as part of the multi-agency Week of Action which is took place last week in the city.

Three premises were visited in Stoke, Abbey Hulton and Meir during the tobacco crackdown under Operation CeCe which is a National Trading Standards initiative in partnership with HMRC to tackle illegal tobacco. Illegal tobacco was found at all three premises. In total, 20,380 cigarettes and 9.25kg of hand rolling tobacco were found concealed on the premises.

In addition, teams carried out Week of Action visits to 36 other premises in the city. In total, 9,300 cigarettes, 5.25kg of hand rolling tobacco, 2336 illegal vapes with incorrect tank sizes (over the legal 2ml/600 puffs), and five bags of shisha, with incorrect health warnings were seized from these premises.

Councillor Amjid Wazir, cabinet member for environment and enforcement said: “The work carried out by our Trading Standards team as part of the Week of Action sends a strong message to businesses dealing in illegal tobacco and vapes. The sale of these illegal products in the city will not be tolerated and anyone who is found to be dealing in these products will face consequences.

“The trade in illegal tobacco is not only harmful to business in the city who are trading legally, but creates a cheap source of tobacco for children and young people. It also undermines all of the good work being done to stop people smoking and the illegal tobacco trade more often than not has strong links to other criminal activity. We all appreciate the hard work of the teams doing a huge effort to keep us all safe.”

Inspector Mark Burslem, from Staffordshire Police, said: “We take the trading of illegal goods incredibly seriously and will continue to support our colleagues within Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s trading standards team in cracking down on this type of activity.

“This partnership work is vital in ensuring we stop counterfeit goods from reaching our streets and from harming our communities.”

If any residents or businesses have concerns over the supply or sale of illegal tobacco, and to also report premises selling age-restricted or illegal products such as knives, vapes they can contact and report to the trading standards team on 0808 223 1133, visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or call our fakes hotline on 01782 238884