First UK conviction for dangerous cigarettes

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A shop owner has been found guilty of selling “dodgy” cigarettes following a county-wide crackdown in the wake of a fatal house fire in Spalding.

Lincolnshire Trading Standards seized almost 1,000 Jin Ling cigarettes in a raid, which resulted in the first ever UK conviction for intentionally selling dangerous cigarettes.

It is believed the cigarettes were of the type which caused a fire in Stonegate, Spalding, which killed 71-year-old June Buffham.

An inquest held last August heard the likely cause of the fire was smoking materials which continued to smoulder.

Since November 2011, all cigarettes produced have to comply with a European Standard which requires them to be self-extinguishing.

The Jin Ling brand found during a raid on Boston Food and Wine Centre in Boston, do not comply with the standard.

Shop owner Shapoor Atiqi (46), was found guilty of eight offences, including the sale of non-extinguishing cigarettes, yesterday.

Emma Milligan, senior Trading Standards officer, said: “During the inquest into June Buffham’s death, the coroner raised serious concerns about the sale of illegal cigarettes in the area, hence why we have been cracking down on sales of this product.”

The raid was carried out in July 2012, when teams were assisted by tobacco detection dog Ozzie.

More than 3,480 cigarettes were seized.