14,000 cigarettes seized in Wisbech raid

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Thousands of illegal cigarettes have been seized in raids in Wisbech.

Special tobacco detection dogs discovered 14,000 illegal cigarettes, along with 1.3kg of tobacco, hidden away in three premises in the town.

Officers from Cambridgeshire Trading Standards, the police and HM Revenue and Customs worked together on the operation, which went ahead on Thursday.

Wisbech has the highest level of smokers in Cambridgeshire.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Public Health Consultant, Val Thomas, has praised officers on the operation.

She said: “We know that traders in illicit tobacco target the poorest communities and vulnerable young people with cheap affordable tobacco.

“It can encourage the uptake of smoking and does not support those who are trying to quit.

“This work by Trading Standards plays an important role in helping to prevent smoking and reduce the risks for smokers of heart disease, stroke and cancer.

“We want to see health improvements in this county and, with poor and disadvantaged communities and young people often the target of this cheap tobacco, it does not encourage people to quit.

“Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to deal in these illegal products.”

A similar operation in the town during May seized 16,000 illegal cigarettes from one shop.