Man fined after bogus cigarettes seized

A ZERO tolerance approach will be taken on people in North Somerset selling counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco, Trading Standards has warned.

The caution comes after a man was prosecuted following a raid at a car boot sale in Bleadon last September.

Paul James Mackay, of Midsomer Norton, pleaded guilty to five offences at North Somerset Courthouse on March 30.

These included selling cigarettes with a tar and carbon monoxide content in excess of the legal limit, without correct safety labelling, failing to display an age-restriction notice and possession of counterfeit tobacco.

Mackay was given a six-month curfew, ordered to pay �1,242.72 in costs and had his tobacco products and van seized.

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In total 1,533 packets of cigarettes and 76 pouches of tobacco were confiscated from Mackay at the car boot sale and home address – with a street value of more than �5,000 and estimated to take �7,800 trade from businesses.

Derek Wilkins, trading standards manager, said: “As one of the leading authorities in the South West undertaking work in relation to illicit tobacco, I am extremely pleased with the way that this investigation has been conducted and the sentence levied by the court.

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“This should send a message to others who may consider selling such products as it demonstrates that we treat these breaches seriously.”

NHS North Somerset praised Trading Standards’ vigilance over the sale of unregulated cigarettes and its support to the district’s smoke free plan.

Fiona Miles, of NHS North Somerset, said: “Preventing young people from taking up smoking is a key priority for us, this type of activity targets young people and makes it easy for our kids to smoke and become addicted any action that can be taken to prevent this is welcomed.”

Anyone with information on people selling illicit or counterfeit tobacco, ring Trading Standards on 0845 040506 or email

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