Illegal Vapes and Tobacco Seized from Shop in Tewkesbury

Scores Of Dangerous Illegal Vapes And Tobacco Seized From Shop

In a recent bust, trading standards officers from Gloucestershire County Council have seized a significant number of dangerous illegal vapes and tobacco products from a shop in Tewkesbury. The operation, carried out in response to complaints regarding the sale of illegal vapes and tobacco, discovered 199 illegal vapes worth approximately £2,000, along with £1,000 worth of illegal tobacco products hidden in a concealed compartment.

The initial visit to the premises took place in early June when officers confiscated the illegal vapes with oversized tanks. Although the shop owner received verbal and written advice, they chose to disregard the council’s guidance.

The owner’s blatant disregard for the law was further confirmed by a test purchase of a vape that revealed the continued sale of illegal devices. During the subsequent visit on June 15, trading standards officers found 20 vapes discreetly stashed behind bags of biscuits on a shelf near the counter. These vapes were estimated to have a value of around £200.

Additionally, during the search of the premises, officers uncovered a hidden storage area within a wall. This concealed space contained a stash of illegal tobacco products worth approximately £1,000, which were promptly seized.

The illegal tobacco haul consisted of 123 packets of 20 cigarettes and 43 pouches of 50g hand-rolling tobacco. Many of these items were counterfeit copies of popular brands such as Richmond, Lambert and Butler, and Amber Leaf.

Cllr Dave Norman, the cabinet member for trading standards, expressed concern over the sale of illegal tobacco. He emphasized that it not only undermines the health objectives of high tobacco prices but also poses risks to public safety. Illegal tobacco is often sold to children, negatively impacts local traders, and counterfeit cigarettes are prone to fire hazards as they are unlikely to self-extinguish.

“Consumers may believe they are purchasing a duty-free brand, but in reality, they are acquiring a dubious counterfeit imitation,” Cllr Norman warned.

The investigation by trading standards officers is ongoing.

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