Campaign to stop illegal tobacco sale, launched in Yorkshire

Campaign to stop illegal tobacco sale, launched in YorkshireA campaign to completely stop the sale of illegal tobacco including to children has been launched in West Yorkshire.

The campaign aims to halt the supply and demand for illegal tobacco in the area. It is also looking to prevent dealers from selling the product to children in West Yorkshire. The Keep It Out campaign was earlier launched in the summer of
2014 by the Tackling Illicit Tobacco for Better Health Programme, which included Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield councils.

The authorities have seized more than 900,000 illegal cigarettes and 330kg of hand rolling tobacco since the launch of the programme. The total estimated street value of the confiscated products is around £157,500 of illegal money. West Yorkshire Trading Standards was able to seize more than 37,000 cigarettes and 22kg of illegal tobacco worth more than £10,000 during the previous month.

David Lodge, Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, 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."

Dr Andrew Furber, President of the Association of Directors of Public Health and Director of Public Health for Wakefield Council expressed concerns that tobacco is being sold to children and said that council is taking it seriously and working to eliminate the problem.