THOUSANDS of illegal and potentially dangerous cigarettes, tobacco and e-cigarettes have been seized by Wigan Council trading standards over the last year.

Around 10,000 packets of illegal cigarettes and around 14,000 illegal disposable e-cigarettes, with a value of approximately £170,000 have been seized across the borough.

This includes action against just one shop on Wallgate in Wigan, which last month was caught selling illegal vapes despite a warning, with £60,000 of illegal stock seized.

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The council's Trading Standards team has also recently worked with Greater Manchester Police in a successful raid on a residential property on Railway Road in Leigh.

With around £80,000 of illegal tobacco, disposable e-cigarettes as well as over £30,000 value of counterfeit stamps taken, this was one of the biggest seizures of this kind in Wigan borough.

Councillor Dane Anderton, cabinet portfolio holder for police, crime and civil contingencies said: “These seizures are vital to protect our residents and young people from unscrupulous traders. 

“Illegal cigarettes, tobacco and e-cigarettes damage our local economy with these businesses not paying tax to fund public services and undercutting the law-abiding shops.

“People are aware of the dangers of smoking, but illegal cigarettes are made with no regard to legal standards, and high levels of nicotine in illegal e-cigarettes can increase people’s addiction.

“Here in Wigan borough, we secured our first 3 month Closure Order against a shop that was illegally selling e-cigarettes to children. We will continue to proactively target these shops and businesses that are operating outside the law.”

Anyone wishing to report illegal tobacco and vapes or underage sales to Trading Standards issues can ring in confidence 0808 223 1133 or