Campaign aims to stub out underage smoking

?????Suffolk Trading Standards and Public Health are working together to stub out underage tobacco sales in Suffolk.  As part of the “Don’t Get Me started” campaign, Suffolk Trading Standards are encouraging people to contact them to report premises they suspect are selling tobacco to under 18s.

The campaign encourages tobacco retailers, parents, schools and society as a whole to play their part in ensuring underage young people cannot purchase or access tobacco.

In time for Stoptober, Trading Standards are sending information packs to schools for teachers, parents, carers and school governors which include “reporting cards” so that they have an easier way to report underage tobacco sales in their area.

Members of the Youth Parliament are also supporting the campaign via social media and a thunderclap has been launched nationally, thanks to Suffolk Trading Standards. People are being urged to sign up to  “help trading standards stub out tobacco sales to under 18s” on the thunderclap site to be shared via their twitter, facebook or tumblr page.

Follow @SuffolkTS on twitter and use the hashtag #StubItOut

Councillor Colin Spence, cabinet member for public protection said:

“We have a vast majority of responsible newsagents, tobacconists and other retailers in Suffolk, so this is not intended as a criticism of them.  Trading standards receives a number of reports of underage alcohol sales, and relatively very few for cigarettes and other tobacco products. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is not happening only that it is not reported. It is a serious offence to sell these products to an underage person and we want to help stop these practices in our county.”

Councillor Alan Murray, cabinet member for health and adult care said:

“We’re calling on the people of Suffolk to join our “Don’t get me started” pledge by playing their part in reducing access to tobacco for young people who attempt to buy these products. Smoking is the UK’s biggest killer when it comes to the number of preventable deaths, and yet 8million people still carry on regardless.”

Research from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) shows that more than 207,000 young people take up smoking every year in England and Wales. Among adult smokers, nearly two-thirds report that they took up smoking before the age of 18 and more than 80 percent before the age of 20.

Tony Jeffrey MYP  for Bury St Edmunds said:

“This campaign will allow members of the public to report incidents of retailers illegally selling tobacco products to those who are underage. I believe this will discourage young people from wanting to smoke, as they will simply run out of places to buy cigarettes from themselves. It is statistically proven that those who smoke from a younger age are more likely to develop serious health problems in the future, which is why we are showing the retailers that not checking for valid identification is a careless and immoral thing to do. It will also keep businesses trading fairly and equally when it comes to these types of products.”

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

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