Shoppers were warned about the dangers of illegal tobacco and encouraged to report the issue, when a campaign roadshow rolled into the town centre.
Illegal tobacco is known to make it easier for children to start smoking because it is sold at pocket money prices, meaning that young people could fall prey to the lethal habit which claims the life of every one in two smokers. Illegal tobacco is also known to make communities more attractive to criminals.
That’s why Swindon Council Trading Standards and Public Health teams are working with Smokefree South West on a campaign launched last week to increase awareness about illegal tobacco among the general public, urging fewer people to buy it and more people to report it.
Trained staff were on hand to talk to shoppers in Regent Street on Friday to highlight the dangers.
Coun Emma Faramarzi, Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Safety, said: “Smoking is a serious public health issue and cheap illegal tobacco just makes it even harder to keep our children away from harm.
“That’s why we’re working hard with our partners to tackle the problem, which can also feed other criminal activity. We know that people in Swindon want to help protect their children and this campaign will enable them to identify cheap illegal tobacco, so together we can keep it out of our communities.”
Selling illegal tobacco is a criminal offence. Anyone wishing to report the selling of illegal tobacco can contact Trading Standards by emailing email@example.com or calling 01793 466155.
People can also report it anonymously online at www.stop-illegal-tobacco.co.uk or call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.