Council backs ‘Keep it Out’ campaign

20/01/2020, PR-9268

Smoking

​Wakefield Council is continuing to support a regional campaign which aims to reduce the supply and demand for illegal tobacco, including stopping dealers who sell to children.

A West Yorkshire Illegal Tobacco major independent survey in 2018 found that an estimated 15% of West Yorkshire smokers buy illegal tobacco and 42% of current smokers have been offered the sale of illegal tobacco.

The sale of illegal tobacco seriously undermines the impact of tobacco control measures and cheap tobacco makes it easier for children to start smoking and harder for adults to stop. Illegal tobacco has strong links with organised crime involving drug dealing, people trafficking and money laundering.

The ‘Keep it Out’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the issues caused by illegal tobacco and helps to generate intelligence for trading standards, police and HMRC to take action against dealers in local communities.

Overall since the start of the campaign in 2014, the combined efforts of partners in West Yorkshire has led to over five million illegal cigarettes and 1,240kg of illegal hand rolling tobacco being seized, 1,500 visits to illegal tobacco traders, 35 successful prosecutions and 28 alcohol license revocations. 

Cllr Faith Heptinstall
Cllr Faith Heptinstall

​Cllr Faith Heptinstall, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: "We want children across our district to make good choices about their health and removing the temptation of illegal tobacco will help that.

"By encouraging communities to take action against illicit cigarettes being sold, we are ensuring a healthier and safer future for our children as well as society as a whole."

Visit keep-it-out.co.uk or call 0300 999 0000 to report local sales to trading standards with full anonymity.

In Wakefield, we want to see the next generation of children born and raised in a district which is free from tobacco and where smoking is unusual.

Smoking rates in Wakefield continue to remain high compared to the national and regional averages. The overall smoking rate for the district is 19.3% (2018) compared to the England average of 14.4% and 16.7% for Yorkshire and the Humber. However, there has been good progress in reducing smoking rates, thanks to local and national initiatives.

In Wakefield, people can get expert advice from their local stop smoking service (Yorkshire Smokefree Wakefield). People are three times more likely to quit smoking than by using willpower alone if they use a local stop smoking service.

To contact the Stop Smoking Service in Wakefield go to: https://wakefield.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk/ or call: 0800 612 0011 free from landlines or 0330 660 1166 free from most mobiles.