Solihull won’t stop persuing sellers to underage young people


As part of our on-going commitment to stop young people in Solihull being exposed to age restricted products such as alcohol or cigarettes Solihull Trading Standards carried out test purchases at four premises across the Borough last night. Two volunteers under the age of 18 helped us by trying to buy cigarettes and alcohol from these shops. 2 premises sold cigarettes or alcohol to young people without verifying their age.

We will continue to reinforce the message that it is totally unacceptable to allow young people to buy certain products. We will do this by education and, if necessary, enforcement action where traders completely ignore the law.

If you think age restricted products are being sold to young people in Solihull please let us know on 03454 04 05 06.


Over £6k of illegal tobacco seized in Gloucestershire


As part of the ongoing battle against illegal tobacco, over 1,000 packets of cigarettes have been seized by Gloucestershire Trading Standards after a property search was carried out on December 11th.

1,175 pack of 20 cigarettes and 338 pouches of 50g hand rolling tobacco were discovered in the domestic property. It is believed that the stash was being stored to avoid large quantities being discovered in the shop that was selling the contraband. The illegal tobacco was hidden in kitchen cupboards, in the FRIDGE and under carpets.

See an article about the find here:

If you have any information about illegal tobacco being stored in Solihull please contact us on 03454 04 05 06.

Buying cigarettes or alcohol for someone under 18? You could face a £90 penalty


Did you know you could be faced with a £90 penalty if you buy cigarettes or alcohol for someone under the age of 18? Legislation empowers enforcement agencies to issue a £90 fixed penalty for ‘proxy’ sales. The next time a child asks you to buy age restricted products for them think again…

Fancy some rat poo in your cigarette?


The price of counterfeit cigarettes or tobacco can seem attractive. Why pay more for genuine products when you can get fakes at half the price? Well, we can give you a number of reasons why not, demonstrated by a seizure of countrefeit tobacco last year in Conwy, North Wales. How about your ‘cheap’ cigarettes containing rat poison, rat waste, blood, plastics, and human waste products?!! See the article here:

Counterfeit tobacco can be very harmful to you as well as funding the activities of large crime syndicates. If you suspect that fake tobacco is being sold in Solihull please call us on 03454 04 05 06.

90% of small retailers fully compliant with tobacco display ban


We are sure you have noticed how tobacco and cigarettes are now hidden behind screen doors these days.

See the below article from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) – ( on how the new display rules have gone:

Small businesses are complying with new legislation aimed at preventing children from taking up smoking, according to a Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) report published today (29 October).
Almost 90% of smaller retailers were fully compliant while practically all made some effort to comply with the laws that ban tobacco displays and require a standardised price list.
Critics had argued that April’s roll out of the tobacco advertising regulations, implemented in larger stores in 2012, would be too costly for smaller retailers in terms of installation and lost revenue.
Melissa Dring, director of policy at CTSI, said that the encouraging compliance rates showed retailers are ready to move with the times.
She said: “Smoking is killing about 81,400 people each year in England and children who are exposed to in-store tobacco marketing are more likely to start this deadly and debilitating habit.
“With two-thirds of smokers starting as children it is vital that we do everything we can to discourage them from developing a habit that places a huge burden on the NHS.
“Removing tobacco products from sight discourages young people from buying tobacco and businesses that fail to do so are breaking the law and could face legal action.”
Jane Ellison, Public Health Minister said: “Smoking is the biggest preventable killer in England, claiming around 80,000 lives each year.
“The display ban is part of a package of measures aimed at preventing young people from starting smoking and supporting adults who are trying to quit.
“I am encouraged to see high levels of compliance with the display ban amongst retailers across the country, which is helping to protect people from the harmful effects of smoking.”
The Rapid Review on Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Regulations Compliance by Small Businesses was commissioned by the Department of Health’s tobacco policy team.
It saw local trading standards services across nine regions in England visit 592 smaller retailers, at random, over eight weeks in July and August this year.
The eastern region recorded the highest returns on display compliance (93%) compared with the midlands and the north-east which scored the lowest (84%). 
Pricing regulation compliance was lower across the board and at its lowest in the north-east (73%) and highest in the south-east (95%). 
Examples of non-compliance included: display doors being left open; stores unaware of pricing regulations; as well as see-through curtains and ill-fitting blinds covering displays.
Trading standards services provided advice and guidance to those businesses that failed to meet the required standards.
Retailers who flout the new regulations may face unlimited fines or six months in prison.
The overall compliance rate is lower than that of CTSI’s 2013 review into large businesses where 98% of retailers complied with legislation on displays and 93% met pricing obligations.

£500,000 fake tobacco factory CLOSED!

Cigarettes are seen during the manufacturing process in the British American Tobacco Cigarette Factory (BAT) in Bayreuth, southern Germany, April 30, 2014. British American Tobacco, the world's No. 2 cigarette maker, posted improved sales volume for the first quarter, though foreign exchange rates were a big drag on revenue. Picture taken April 30, 2014. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS)

A factory in Croydon which was churning out hundreds of thousands of pounds of fake cigarettes has been permanently closed following a raid by Trading Standards Officers. They found approximately 4,600 50g packets of fake Golden Virginia Hand Rolling Tobacco, with an approximate street value of £85,000, packed and ready for delivery.

During July, the criminal gang responsible produced more than 13,000 packets with a street value in the region of £250,000. It is estimated there was sufficient material on site to make a further £250,000-worth of fakes.

Fake cigarettes may be cheap but they often contain subtances which you really do not want to inhale!

See the article here:

E- Cigarettes Update

Choice between cigarette and e-cigarette

October has seen some high profile changes in legislation with the new Consumer Rights Act and The Carrier Bags Charge but we should not overlook the the change in legislation to the sale of E-Cigarettes.
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On 1 October in England and Wales it became illegal to sell nicotine inhaling products to anyone under the age of 18. A nicotine inhaling product is the official term for e-cigarettes and similar products.  This brings this product inline with other tobacco products.

Sniffer dogs uncover more than £10,000 worth of illegal tobacco in Birmingham


Birmingham Trading Standards and their little helpers (provided by BWY Tobacco Detection Dog Services) have sniffed out over 27,000 illegal cigarettes and 120 packets of hand rolling tobacco during raids on Birmingham shops and off licenses. The goods (valued at £11,800) were hidden under fridges, in roof spaces and in a cellar.

See the article here:

Watch out – it may not be too long until we are out and about in Solihull again on the look out for illicit tobacco…….

Sandwell raids bag £100,000 haul of illegal cigarettes and tobacco


Raids carried out by Sandwell Trading Standards using sniffer dogs have uncovered 160,000 cigarettes and 61 kilogrammes of illegal tobacco.

The contraband was hidden in secret compartments, such as fake floor boards and shop shelves. In one store, a dog found a stash of cigarettes hidden behind a row of crisp packets. Some of the tobacco products were found to be mouldy and short in weight by as much as 40 per cent.

Seven traders have so far been successfully prosecuted in the borough, with one forced to pay £6,000 while another was given a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months. A further trader was also given a 12-month community order and ordered to carry out 180-hours of unpaid work.

See the article here:

If you suspect that illegal cigarettes are being sold in Solihull please call us confidentially on 03454 04 05 06.

1 in 5 retailers continue to sell cigarettes to children


A recent test purchase exercise carried out by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute has revealed 20% of retailers persist in selling cigarettes to under 18s.

Small grocery stores, newsagents and petrol stations were found to be the most likely to sell tobacco products to children.

See the full article here:

If you think that anyone in Solihull is selling age restricted products to children please contact us on 03454 04 05 06 and help us fight this illegal practice.