Sniffer dog teaches Bognor about dangerous cigarettes

Trading Standards officer Kyran O'Neill with seized tobacco
Trading Standards officer Kyran O'Neill with seized tobacco

An intrepid sniffer dog took a break from hunting down illicit tobacco for some well-earned affection from the public last week.

Yoyo the dog padded down to London Road in Bognor last Tuesday as part of a West Sussex County Council roadshow highlighting the dangers of illicit tobacco.

Yoyo was popular with the younger Bognor residents. Pictures: Kate Shemilt

Yoyo was popular with the younger Bognor residents. Pictures: Kate Shemilt

Debbie Kennard, council cabinet member for safer, stronger communities, said: “Our officers have done some excellent work when it comes to putting a stop to the sale of illegal tobacco.”

Click here for a gallery of Yoyo and the team on the day

Trading Standards officer, Richard Sargeant said: “We always advice that you buy from a legitimate business and contact us if you have reservations.”

“Businesses caught selling illicit tobacco can lose their alcohol licence and traders can even go to jail.”

Fake cigarettes often do not self-extinguish, posing a greater risk of causing fires.

Since April 2017 the council has seized 1,186 packets of cigarettes and 402 tobacco pouches, worth £20,860.

Firefighters were also on hand to speak about minising risks from smoking.

Anyone with information about illegal goods call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/TSreport.