Leeds Backs ‘Keep It Out’ Fight Against Illegal Tobacco

Local CrimeLocal News

Health and wellbeing leaders in Leeds are backing the relaunch of a West Yorkshire Trading Standards campaign aimed at reducing supply and demand for illegal tobacco, including stopping dealers who sell to children, launched on 1st March.
Illegal tobacco traders make it easier for children to start smoking, harder for adults to stop and bring crime into local communities. The trade has also been linked to the funding of terrorist activities. Anyone who knows where illegal tobacco is being sold is urged to report it anonymously online at www.keep-it-out.co.uk or call the Illegal Tobacco Hotline on 0300 999 0000.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, chair of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:
“Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Leeds and so tackling tobacco use is a top public health priority for us.”
“We know that the availability of illegal tobacco is undermining a lot of the work we do, by making tobacco easily accessible to children who then get hooked on smoking, and by providing a cheaper source of tobacco to smokers who, if they were paying full price, might otherwise choose to quit.”
Dr Ian Cameron, Leeds City Council Director of Public Health, said:
“Tobacco kills half of all long term smokers, whether legal or illegal. We have help available for people wanting to quit, and we know most smokers want to give up. We also know their quit attempts are undermined if somebody offers them a cheap supply of tobacco.
“Of course the best thing is never to start smoking, and I find it really worrying that children are targeted by unscrupulous dealers. So we are taking this issue seriously as part of wider efforts to reduce the harm caused by smoking and to cut the number of children who take up smoking every year.”
Last month West Yorkshire Trading Standards seized over 37,000 cigarettes and 22kg of illegal tobacco worth more than £10,000 during a large scale operation against illegal tobacco as part of national ‘Operation Henry 2’.
Since the programme began, the combined efforts of regional partners have led to over 900,000 illegal cigarettes and 330kg of hand rolling tobacco being seized, worth an estimated street value of around £157,500.
David Lodge, Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards said:
“We will not stand for anyone selling illegal tobacco in our communities. 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.
“People should feel very uncomfortable that this is happening on their doorstep. If you don’t want local children to smoke, and you know where illegal tobacco is being sold, we would encourage you to get in touch and report it anonymously.”

You May Also Like

Yorkshire Reporter March 2016
Cinema Listings


Must Read

No results found.