A convenience store owner on Dudden Hill Lane, Willesden, has landed a hefty fine for possessing cigarettes without displaying the correct health warnings.
Thirty-seven year-old store owner, Mr Ketan Patel of Field End Road, South Ruislip was fined £1600 and ordered to pay costs of £1081 by Willesden Magistrates Court earlier this week for the offence.
The court heard how in September of last year, Brent Council Trading Standards Officers received a complaint and visited the convenience store, trading as Premier Food and Wine, and confiscated 128 packs of Blunts, 80 pouches of hand rolling tobacco and 57 packets of cigarettes, all without the correct health warnings in English, which is required by law.
A display cabinet containing tobacco and other products had no facility to be closed, meaning cigarettes and chewing tobacco were also visible. In the UK, shops and businesses are required by law to ensure all tobacco products are correctly enclosed from public view.
Brent Council's Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Cllr James Denselow, said:
"Selling illegal tobacco products which don't carry the proper health warnings is not just irresponsible, but it could also be dangerous. We want good, honest traders here in Brent and will not tolerate the small minority that try to avoid following the rules.
"Businesses that sell tobacco products have a responsibility to ensure that each item carries the correct health warnings, as required by law, and are displayed in the proper way.
"Our Trading Standards Officers are working hard to keep these illegal products off the streets and will continue to crack down on businesses and individuals found to be ignoring the law, as we continue to work towards a safer and healthier borough."
Illegal cigarette sales can be reported to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advise Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.