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Three-month crackdown leads to haul of cigarettes and loose tobacco

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Hundreds of thousands of dollars of illicit tobacco products have been seized by the Sunshine Coast Public Health Unit.

The health unit undertook 16 inspections of retailers suspected of illicit tobacco supply, from January to March, and issued seven on-the-spot fines.

This resulted in 384,930 cigarettes and 34 kilograms of loose tobacco being seized, worth $331,429.

The PHU received 36 complaints about potential breaches from the community during that timeframe.

The state government recently introduced the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products (Vaping) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024.

The new reforms introduce new measures against the supply and commercial possession of illicit nicotine products, including vapes and their accessories.

Illicit nicotine products, including vapes and their accessories, from a raid in Queensland.

Minister for Health Shannon Fentiman said the government was striving to keep Queenslanders safe from dangerous nicotine products.

“Our Public Health Unit has delivered successful results in undertaking inspections and removing thousands of illicit cigarettes from our community,” she said.

“We know vaping is marketed towards our children, and our government is steadfast in our approach to keeping illicit nicotine out of the hands of young people.”

Member for Nicklin Rob Skelton said the haul was “fantastic news for our community.”

“Illicit tobacco and vapes are harmful for everyone, especially young Queenslanders.”

He said the laws were designed to protect Queenslanders and hold “those who choose to sell these illicit products to account.”

Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt said the state government was determined to keep illicit tobacco and vaping products “out of the hands of our young people”.

“We know these products carry all manner of harmful ingredients and it’s important we update laws to ensure we can continue to keep people safe,” he said.

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