Campaign to seize trade of illegal tobacco in Wiltshire

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By nhavergal | Monday, February 25, 2013, 16:24

Wiltshire Council has announced it will be taking part in a partnership initiative to tackle the sales of illegal tobacco in Wiltshire and the South West from today (Monday, 25, February 2013).

The council will be joining forces with HMRC, Smokefree South West, the Police, Crimestoppers alongside other partnerships to crack down on illegal tobacco sales.

Statistics from HMRC showed that in 2010 £2.8 billion revenue was lost because of illegal tobacco trade across the UK. Progress has been made in reducing illegal sales which showed the figure has dropped to around £1.86 million today. 

The main aim of the campaign is to reduce the number of people smoking illegal tobacco. According to reports, 2 in 10 of smokers in Wiltshire are smoking illegal tobacco.

Keith Humphries, cabinet member for public health and public protection said: "We are committed to disrupting the supply of illegal tobacco across the south west and through this initiative we are able to gather intelligence to help us complete this task."

An event will be held in Trowbridge at The Shires Shopping Centre to make people aware of the dangers of illegal tobacco March, 14 and 15 2013. 

Maggie Rae, Corporate Director said: "Significant progress has been made since February 2011 when this campaign was launched to tackle the problem of illegal tobacco across Wiltshire."

"The illegal tobacco market in the UK has halved in the last dedicated but still poses a real and present threat to children and local communities. Cigarettes and pouches of hand rolling tobacco are offered to our children at pocket money prices making it cheap and all too easy for our children to smoke and become addicted."

Anyone who would like to report the selling of illegal tobacco can report anonymously online to trading standards at: www.stop-illegal-tabacco.co.uk or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. No calls will be traced and all information will be used with the strictest of confidence. 

      

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