County Durham shop ordered to close over tobacco sales
A County Durham shop has been ordered to close after illegal tobacco was sold from the
Durham County Council has secured a three-month closure order for Harry’s Mini Market,
on Market Street, Ferryhill, from Peterlee Magistrates’ Court.
The order follows a visit to the store from trading standards officers in October this year.
During the visit, the proprietor of the shop told officers that no illicit tobacco products were
in stock on the premises.
However, a search found cigarette packets which did not display the necessary health
warnings and a bag containing various cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco. Some of these
cigarettes were tested and confirmed as counterfeit.
During a further visit to the shop a month later, a test purchase was carried out and two
packets of cigarettes were sold, which were also believed to be counterfeit. A quantity of
electronic cigarettes was also seized during a search of the premises as it was believed
that they exceeded the permitted volume of nicotine-containing liquid.
When a second test purchase was carried out, two packets of cigarettes which were
marked as duty free were sold. These were believed to be counterfeit.
Owen Cleugh, Durham County Council’s public protection manager, said: “We hope this
serves as a warning that the sale of illegal tobacco in our communities will not be
tolerated. It can have a serious impact on health, as well bringing crime and nuisance into
our towns and villages.
“It also makes it easier for children to get hold of cheap tobacco, undermining the efforts of
stop smoking services which do fantastic work to prevent and reduce cases of smoking.
We continue to investigate this case and further action will be taken if necessary.”
Anyone with information about the same of illicit tobacco can report it anonymously by
visiting www.keep-it-out.co.uk or calling 03000 999 0000.
There is advice and support available for anyone wanting to quit smoking at
www.smokefreecountydurham.co.uk or by calling 0800 772 0565.