People in North East Lincolnshire are being urged to stop smoking and selling illicit cigarettes and tobacco after Trading Standards officers sent more than half a tonne to the incinerator.
A total of 450,840 cigarettes (22,542 packs) and 195.7 kilos of tobacco (3,914 pouches) which have been seized over the last couple of years as part of Operation CeCe was sent to the incinerator at the Energy from Waste Plant in Stallingborough.
This represents a legitimate value of £384,183 and a street value of £155,764.
Councillor Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities, said: “People who buy illicit cigarettes are probably not aware of the consequences of their actions. The money you hand over ultimately ends up in the pockets of criminals.
“These products are being sold on the cheap and are therefore contributing to young people being able to afford to smoke.”
He added: “These products do not meet safety standards and are putting lives at risk. We know illicit and fake cigarettes do not comply with the Reduced Ignition Propensity requirements and won’t self-extinguish, so are likely to start a fire.
“When you buy these products, you could be putting your own health at risk. Not only has no duty been paid on them but they’ve not been tested to ensure they’re safe.
“It is important that people know what to look for on cigarette packets. Genuine, legal packets of cigarettes or hand rolled tobacco can be easily recognised as they should have the words UK DUTY PAID on the packs, all of the wording should be in English and there are health warning messages on both the front and back of the packet.”