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More than 38,000 illegal cigarettes seized in Stoke-on-Trent

Trading standards officers have seized more than 38,000 cigarettes and 17 kilos of hand rolling tobacco, worth more than £18,000 during a large scale operation in Stoke-on-Trent.

Out of the eight premises visited in Hanley, Longton and Stoke, seven were found to be selling illegal tobacco. Credit: Stoke-on-Trent City Council

Illicit products were discovered during raids over the last four months as part of Operation Henry 2, a nationally co-ordinated exercise by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and the Department of Health.

People who deal in illegal tobacco are more likely to encourage others, especially children and young adults, to smoke.

All tobacco is harmful but the illegal tobacco market – and in particular the availability of cheap cigarettes – make it harder for smokers to quit and remain smoke-free.

Our trading standards officers are working hard to keep these illegal products off the streets and are cracking down on the businesses and individuals who flout the law.

Detection dogs can find tobacco and cigarettes in the most unlikely places, and in addition to having their stock confiscated, offenders could face unlimited fines and up to 10 years in prison.

– Councillor Randy Conteh, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet member and chair of the Stoke-on-Trent Tobacco Control Alliance

The city council’s trading standards department is asking residents to help to keep these illicit products off the streets by reporting anyone selling illegal tobacco.

People should call the Fakes Hotline on 01782 238444 or go to their website.

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Rob Page appointed new Northampton Town manager

Rob Page appointed new Northampton Town manager Credit: Port Vale FC

Port Vale's Rob Page has left the Club to take up the manager’s position at Northampton Town.

Performance Coach John Harbin will also join up with the Cobblers as part of Page’s backroom staff.

Port Vale Chairman Norman Smurthwaite said:

We are disappointed at Rob’s decision to leave but we would like to thank him for his hard work over the last 20 months and wish him the very best for the future.

The search for a new manager is already underway and we, as a club, will do our utmost to ensure the best candidate for the job is appointed.

– Norman Smurthwaite

Stephen Ireland suffers broken leg during Stoke training

Stoke City's Stephen Ireland Credit: PA

Stoke midfielder Stephen Ireland suffered a broken leg in training, the Barclays Premier League club have announced.

Ireland has struggled with various injury problems this season and the 29-year-old is now set for an extended spell on the sidelines.

The details of how the injury occurred remain unclear, other than the club stating that it happened during training on Tuesday morning.

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