Trading Standards officers swooped on a Barnoldswick shop on Tuesday and seized a quantity of illicit tobacco.
Illegal cigarettes and tobacco with a comparative street value of just over £1,000 were discovered in a Church Street shop in the jointly run operation between police and Lancashire County Council officers.
Dawn Robinson, Principal Trading Standards Officer in charge of Tuesday’s raid, said that the shop’s owner would be questioned soon.
She added that illegal trade in tobacco products brought up a whole range off issues, from packets lacking pictorial health warnings to undercutting rival businesses and increasing the risk of fires.
She said: “On November 25th, 2014, as part of a police and trading standards operation targeting shop premises in the Pendle area, 154 packs of foreign labelled tobacco products including Pect, Minsk and Palace were seized from a hiding place in the floor of a Barnoldswick shop.
“These products are typically sold for between £3 and £3.50 a pack.
“The pocket money prices also make it affordable for younger people to take up the deadly habit, and the trade undercuts genuine Lancashire traders such as corner shops, putting them into a struggle for survival.
“Illicit cigarettes have no flammability safeguards - so they will burn to the end if dropped on a sofa or bedclothes.
“The trade leads to added pressure on Lancashire’s hospitals and ultimately more cost to tax payers – who will on average lose £100 a year because of the black market in tobacco.
“We wish to make it clear to those selling illicit tobacco that we will not tolerate this trade in Lancashire.”