CRACKING down on illegal tobacco products and vapes is “a priority” for Trading Standards in Pembrokeshire, as new figures on seizures have been released.

The figures have been revealed by Pembrokeshire County Council following a Freedom of Information Act request by Vape Club.

Since 2016, 100 illegal cigarette packs have been seized in Pembrokeshire, while 100 illicit tobacco products have also been seized.

Across Wales, 20,938 illegal vapes have been seized – all since 2021, as well as 388,669 illegal cigarettes and 53,970 illegal tobacco products – both since 2011.

A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman said: “Illegal tobacco products, vapes and sales of age-restricted products is a national concern and enforcement priority for Trading Standards Services. 

“Information and guidance is provided to local retailers and products inspected to ensure they are compliant and legal for supply. The service takes an intelligence-led approach to investigation and enforcement, where non-compliance is indicated.

“Anyone who has information about illegal tobacco products, vapes or sales to under-18s in Pembrokeshire is urged to report the matter to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 (to speak to someone in Welsh).

“Details will be logged on a national secure database and shared with Trading Standards. The team will assess the information and determine any appropriate enforcement which may include prosecution.”

A survey by the non-profit group Action on Smoking and Health Wales (ASH Wales) found that the illegal tobacco market makes up 15 per cent of all tobacco sales in Wales, with a higher prevalence in deprived communities. 

“Illegal tobacco has been known to have links with serious organised crime,” read an ASH Wales statement. “Selling illegal tobacco may initially seem straight-forward, but if you look past the sellers and look further up the production chain, there is scope to fund serious criminal activity.

“It’s a gateway for children. Sellers often target children by selling cigarettes individually and/or at cheap prices.

“All tobacco is harmful, but illegal tobacco makes it easier for children to start smoking. Sellers rarely care who they sell to and can play a big part in starting a life-long addiction.

“Finally, cheap prices and the lack of health warnings do not help smokers to quit.”

Anyone with information relating to the sale of illegal tobacco is urged to report it, anonymously, at

Trading Standards Wales recently announced that officers had been given greater powers as new sanctions came in to force to combat the sale of illegal tobacco.

As of July, businesses and individuals selling illicit tobacco can receive a penalty of up to £10,000, while Trading Standards officers now have the power to refer cases to HMRC for further investigation. HMRC, where appropriate, will issue penalties and sanctions.