Brent and Harrow Trading Standards is aiming to "stamp out" illegal tobacco in the capital with its new campaign.

The move to educate the public on different types of illegal tobacco and the consequences of supporting the trade comes as 11 out of 17 businesses inspected in Brent and Harrow were found with the illicit products.

Around 600 packets of cigarettes, 1,500 packs of chewing tobacco and hundreds of other illegal tobacco products have been seized in the two boroughs.

Cllr Tom Miller, Brent Council cabinet member for stronger communities, said:“Selling illegal tobacco products isn’t just irresponsible, but it could also be dangerous.

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"We want good, honest traders here in Brent and will not tolerate the small minority that try to avoid following the rules just to make a quick buck.

“Our Trading Standards officers are working hard to keep these illegal products off the streets and will continue to crack down on businesses and individuals found to be ignoring the law, as we continue to work towards a safer and healthier borough.”

Steve Playle from London Trading Standards, said: “Trading Standards Officers across London are at the forefront of the battle to crack down on illegal tobacco.

“We work hard to advise businesses of their responsibilities but take robust action to identify those criminals who flout the law and bring them before the courts.

“It is important for this work to be targeted to protect the health and wellbeing of Londoners and we hope that the road shows will encourage more intelligence to be gathered.”

Tobacco products may be illegal if they have foreign language health warnings, packets with no picture health warnings, cheaper than normal cigarettes, unusual or foreign brand names or being sold in unusual locations.

The council said if Brent residents see any tobacco product that match the description of the illegal varieties, or have information which may be useful, they should call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Alternatively, it can be reported at www.londontradingstandards.org.uk/report-consumer-crime.

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