Published On: Mon, Jul 14th, 2014 on 8:28 pm

West Yorkshire regions team up to fight illegal tobacco trade

Keep It Out West Yorkshire

Bradford Council's Thomas Atcheson and Joanne Nykol from the Stop Smoking Service

A campaign has been launched across West Yorkshire to end the trade in illegal tobacco and catch the petty dealers who sell to children.

The ‘Keep It Out’ campaign hopes to put an end to illegal tobacco sales, and has been launched by West Yorkshire Trading Standards across Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield also including York.

Illegal tobacco bypasses age of sale laws, and are usually sold at cheaper prices in a range of locations such as pubs and clubs, shops, private houses or from street hawkers.

The scale of the problem was highlighted when a major tobacco survey was conducted this year by the NEMS Market Research agency.

It found that of over 1,200 smokers and non-smokers across West Yorkshire and York, 36% of smokers have been offered illegal tobacco whilst around 17% of smokers choose to buy illegal tobacco.

Six out of ten adults felt “very uncomfortable” with illegal tobacco and 85% of adults were concerned about young people getting hold of it.

Cllr Bill Urry of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee said: “Children and young smokers are often targeted by people who sell illegal cigarettes, making it even easier for them to get hooked on smoking. The people making money out of this do not care who they sell to.

“This campaign is about raising awareness that illegal tobacco is not a victimless crime but harms neighbourhoods and brings crime into local communities. We are ready to respond to any intelligence we receive.”

Enforcement efforts will now be supported by a publicity campaign featuring radio adverts, posters and materials distributed in local communities.

Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111 or tell their local trading standards team or police.

About the Author

Guest Editorial

- The work of guest writers who publish original content to the Yorkshire Standard. All material is copyrighted and belongs to the Yorkshire Standard.

Leave a comment

Your comment will be approved before it is published.

Comments containing profanity, spam or web links will NOT be approved.