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Illicit tobacco and nicotine vape haul seized

2:30pm - 01 March 2024

More than 46,000 illicit cigarettes and 1,600 non-compliant nicotine vapour products have been seized by our Trading Standards team from two premises in Wishaw.

With support from tobacco detection dogs Boo and Rosie, the team seized 46,300 cigarettes (2,339 packets) and 780g of hand rolling tobacco which were concealed and stored in purpose-built areas, designed to evade detection.

The 1,640 nicotine vapour products have tank sizes of between five and ten times the legal limits with a nicotine content equivalent to 400 cigarettes. Some of the supersized vapes had child appealing packaging and included “Gummy Bear”, “Rainbow Candy” and “Bubblegum Ice” flavours.

“Excellent work by Trading Standards has removed a significant amount of illicit cigarettes, tobacco and nicotine vapes from our communities, protecting the public from the health risks caused by these products,” said Councillor Helen Loughran, Convener of the Environment and Climate Change Committee.

“The trade in illegal tobacco creates a cheap source for tobacco for the public, including children and young people, who might otherwise be deterred by cost. Illicit tobacco products are sold at less than half the price of legal products, making them more appealing.

“Counterfeit products like some of those seized in Wishaw have been found to contain more tar and carbon monoxide than legal products, increasing the risks of smoking even further and have even been found to contain rat faeces, as they are not made with any quality assurance.”

The 2017-2021 Scottish Health Survey identified the highest prevalence of smoking was in North Lanarkshire (21%). Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths with around a quarter of all deaths in Scotland associated with tobacco use.

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Page last updated:
01 Mar 2024

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