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JTI drops support to stores found guilty of selling illicit tobacco

Future breaches of illegal tobacco sales will be liable to on-the-spot fines of up to £10,000

JTI drop stores for selling illicit tobacco

Tobacco firm JTI has withdrawn its support from two convenience stores after they were found guilty of selling illegal tobacco.

Supersave Xpress in Harlesden and Maxi Food and Wine in Southgate have both faced repercussions for breaching Trading Standards. Future breaches of illegal tobacco sales will be liable to on-the-spot fines of up to £10,000.

The trading standard’s team at Brent council ordered Supersave Xpress to pay £6k after 400 packets of illegal and counterfeit cigarettes were found on site, after products were found hidden under a pile of rugs in the store.

Meanwhile, Maxi Food and Wine in Southgate had its alcohol license suspended for three months after illicit cigarettes and vapes were confiscated from the site.

JTI wrote to both stores stating that it’s business advisers will no longer be visiting, and no additional support will be offered.

JTI’s fiscal and regulatory affairs manager, Ian Howell, said: “JTI’s swift response to the criminal activity seen in these cases demonstrates our commitment to backing the actions of Trading Standards in tackling the distribution and sale of illegal tobacco. We hope that other businesses supplying services to these stores will follow our lead and withdraw their support too. 

“With sales of illegal tobacco on the increase it is good to see that later this year Trading Standards will be given new powers that will allow them to issue ‘on-the-spot’ fines of up to £10,000 against any business selling illegal tobacco.”

He added: “It is imperative that honest retailers do their part to help by reporting any information they have about the sale of illegal tobacco or vapes to their local Trading Standards department through the citizens advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.” 

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