Keep It Out: Campaign targets illegal tobacco sellers in Wakefield

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Wakefield Council is supporting a national campaign that aims to further reduce supply and demand for illegal tobacco, including stopping dealers who sell to children.

The ‘Keep It Out’ campaign has been relaunched in the district this week.

The trade in illegal tobacco makes it easier for children to start smoking and harder for adults to stop. It brings crime into local communities, and has been linked to the funding of terrorist activities.

Coun Pat Garbutt, Cabinet Member Adults and Health, said: “The sale of illegal tobacco in the district will not be tolerated. Children are often targeted by sellers making it easier for them to take up the habit. And the lure of cheap cigarettes makes it even harder for those who want to quit smoking to do so.

“Nearly a quarter of people in Wakefield are smokers. We’re supporting this campaign to help tackle these illegal tobacco sellers to help make the Wakefield district smoke free. If you know where illegal tobacco is being sold, please report it. You can do so anonymously.”

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.

The ‘Keep It Out’ campaign which originally ran in summer 2014, was setup by the Tackling Illicit Tobacco for Better Health Programme – which is made up of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield councils.

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’.

In 2014 a major independent survey of over 1,200 smokers and non-smokers across West Yorkshire and York revealed just over a third of smokers had been offered illegal tobacco, with 85% of adults reporting they are concerned about children and young people getting hold of it.

The campaign is also being delivered as part of the wider Breathe 2025 vision, set-up by councils across Yorkshire and the Humber in order to inspire a smoke free generation and improve the future for our young people.