CIGARETTES and pouches of tobacco were seized during ‘Operation Henry’ - Dorset County Council’s continuing campaign to deal with illegal and illicit tobacco.
A total of 2,640 cigarettes and 16 pouches were seized as part of the operation.
The council’s trading standards team and Dorset Police carried out inspections at four premises across the county using sniffer dogs supplied by Wagtails UK.
At one shop Milo, a three and half year old brown and white English Springer spaniel, located the pouches of illegal hand rolling tobacco. While at another the owner volunteered the cigarettes before the dogs were needed.
All of the tobacco was labelled in another language and clearly not for the UK market.
Richard Herringshaw, principal trading standards officer, said: “Using sniffer dogs is a first for us and we are pleased with the results.
“The premises were visited based on intelligence received both directly from the public and from Dorset Police. I would like to thank all of those who took the time to report suspected premises. Illegal tobacco harms legitimate business and makes smoking more attractive as illegal tobacco will always be cheaper.”
Dorset County Council’s Cabinet member for community services, Cllr Colin Jamieson, added: “Provision of illegal tobacco products can have a direct impact on vulnerable young people. I urge anyone who is aware of illegal tobacco being supplied in their community to report it to us. They can do it anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Trader advice, as well as posters and leaflets about illegal tobacco, are available from Dorset County Council on 01305 224702 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Full information on the illegal tobacco campaign can be seen at www.stop-illegal-tobacco.co.uk.