A MASSIVE 18,000 packs of illegal cigarette packs were seized in the Vale of Glamorgan in 2021.

A recent freedom of information request revealed figures of illegal tobacco products seized in the county.

The figures included e-cigarettes.

In 2020, 285 packs of cigarettes were seized, while 126 tobacco packs were confiscated.

In 2021, there was a massive leap in cigarette packs seized, with 18,459 illegal packs confiscated.

In the same year, 193 tobacco packs were seized and 310 e-cigarette packs were seized.

In 2022, the rise in e-cigarette seizures was evident, with 694 seizures, while there were 1,751 cigarette packs seized and 348 tobacco packs.

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesperson said the problem of illegal tobacco products is persistent.

“Officers of Shared Regulatory Services, working on behalf of the council, conduct regular checks on tobacco and tobacco products to determine its authenticity. 

“This work is carried out with partner agencies and often with the assistance of tobacco detection dogs.

“A high incidence of illegal tobacco, that which is counterfeit or non-duty paid, continues to be found locally, as it does across the country.

“A number of investigations have been ongoing, including one that arose from the large-scale seizure of 17,146 packs of cigarettes in 2021."

The spokesperson went on to explain why illegal tabacco products cause such problems to communities.

“Illegal tobacco causes harm in communities across Wales, and there are clear links with organised crime.

“The price point of illegal tobacco removes the price incentive for smokers to quit and at the same time it encourages children to try smoking.

“Anyone concerned about the availability of illegal tobacco locally can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline Service at Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline, the No Ifs – No Butts website or Crimestoppers”