The campaign to tackle cheap illegal tobacco across the South West is coming to the Wharfside Centre, Penzance Harbour today (Saturday, August 2), running until 6pm.
Cornwall Council and Smoke Free SW ssays 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 start smoking, also claiming illegal tobacco is also known to "make communities more attractive to criminals".
Cornwall Council is working with Smokefree South West on a campaign to increase awareness about illegal tobacco among the general public, encouraging fewer people to buy it and more people to report it.
Trained staff will be talking to the public outside the Wharfside Centre today to highlight the dangers of illegal tobacco. Trading Standards staff will be on hand to show people what to look out for when spotting illegal tobacco.
Members of the public will also be able to meet Phoebe and Scamp, two tobacco detection spaniels from B.W.Y. Canine, who will be giving demonstrations. Between them, they have sniffed out well over half a million pounds worth of illegal tobacco.
Councillor Jim McKenna, cabinet member for health and adult care, 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 is why Cornwall Council’s public health and trading standards teams are working together to help tackle the problem.”
Felicity Owen, Director of Public Health Cornwall, added: “We know that people across Cornwall want to help protect their children, so this campaign will help them identify cheap illegal tobacco so that 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 Cornwall Council Trading Standards on 0300 1234 191, report it anonymously online at www.stop-illegal-tobacco.co.uk or call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. They cannot trace your call and will never ask for your name.