Skip to content
  1. Do it online
  2. Login
  3. Have your say
  4. My Durham

County Durham shop ordered to close over tobacco sales

Published December 22, 2022 11.40am

A County Durham shop has been ordered to close after illegal tobacco was sold from the premises.

We have 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.

Illicit tobacco found in stock

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.

Anyone with information about the sale of illicit tobacco can report it anonymously by visiting Keep it out or calling 03000 999 0000.

Devastating impact 

Owen Cleugh, 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."

There is advice and support available for anyone wanting to quit smoking at Smoke Free County Durham or by calling 0800 772 0565.