Smokers are warned off illegal items

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SMOKERS are being reminded not to buy cigarettes and tobacco from unauthorised sellers after a man was caught selling illegal items.

Residents in the borough are being urged not to purchase illegal tobacco products that enable young people to get addicted and take income away from law-abiding local businesses.

Coun George Westwater, cabinet member for community and regulatory services, said: “Our team is committed to remaining vigilant and taking action to stop this criminal activity.

“Those who sell illegal cigarettes and tobacco put profits before the health of our children. And they also take trade away from legitimate retailers that pay their taxes and are unable to compete.”

Last month a 62-year-old man was discovered illegally selling cigarettes and tobacco in North Shields town centre.

He was in possession of around 1,000 cigarettes and a large quantity of rolling tobacco.

Alan Burnett, principal Trading Standards officer for North Tyneside, said: “The sale of counterfeit goods is a serious criminal offence which carries a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment.

“We are thankful to those people who provide us with information about these sales as it helps us rid our neighbourhoods of illicit and dangerous goods.”

Anybody with information about illegal tobacco can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.