South Holland District Council is working to tackle the problem of illegal tobacco in the area after it caused four deaths in recent years.
These deaths, which happened in Spalding, were caused by illegal cigarettes in recent years and the council has pledged to continue to assist authorities in trying to eradicate them from shops.
The council are working with Lincolnshire County Council Trading Standards and other responsible authorities on a programme to tackle the issue.
South Holland District Council fully support the national initiatives to deal with the issue despite not having the statutory responsibility or powers for monitoring and dealing with illegal tobacco.
The council are taking steps and planning for the future with action including training officers to spot and tackle shops selling illegal tobacco and supporting trading standards on inspections.
Portfoil holder for public protection at South Holland District Council, Councillor Anthony Casson, said: “Aside from the clear and well-known safety issues associated with some illegal tobacco products, it’s clear that illegal sales from shops, the internet and social media are taking crucial business away from legitimate retailers.
“We have always taken a hard line against illegal cigarettes in South Holland, and over recent years a number of licensed premises have had their premise licence revoked by the licensing authority following evidence provided by the police or trading standards regarding selling illegal tobacco. We recognise how important an issue this is and will be doing everything within our power to help tackle it and ensure that South Holland is a safe place to live and work.”
Anyone who believes a trader is supplying illegal, fake or duty free goods such as cigarettes can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.