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Illegal tobacco campaign aims to protect the community

Published on:

07 July 2017

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A new campaign to help stamp out illegal tobacco across London is being fully supported by Enfield Council which is hosting an information roadshow on 17 July.

- Enfield Council throws its weight behind campaign to stamp out illegal tobacco
- Roadshow will offer information to the public and help to gather intelligence
- Criminal networks make around £100 million a year from the illegal tobacco trade in London
A new campaign to help stamp out illegal tobacco across London is being fully supported by Enfield Council which is hosting an information roadshow on 17 July.
The drive, which has been launched by London Councils, London Trading Standards and health professionals across the capital, aims to improve the public’s understanding of the different types of illegal tobacco and the consequences of supporting the trade.
Enfield Council will hold a roadshow at the Civic Centre, Silver Street on Monday 17 July from 10am to highlight the harm caused by the sale of illegal or cheap tobacco.
Sniffer dogs will also be present at the roadshow and residents will be told how to identify illegal tobacco and where to report concerns. All are welcome to speak to Enfield Council’s officers and to meet the dogs who will be integral to any enforcement operations.
Enfield Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Daniel Anderson, said: “Illegal tobacco has strong links with organised crime and criminal gangs who are involved in people smuggling, drug dealing and money laundering. In addition, those selling illegal tobacco often target children and young smokers. We are therefore happy to support this campaign to weed out anyone involved in buying or selling these products.
"As part of our drive to build strong communities and to foster safe, well-regulated neighbourhoods, we are cracking down on this issue. Enfield Council will act on any intelligence gathered at the roadshow, so if you have any information on illegal activities in the Borough, come down and let us know. All information provided is confidential.”
It is estimated that criminal networks are making over £100 million a year from the trade in illegal tobacco in London, with a third of London smokers saying they were offered illegal tobacco in the last year. The products are unregulated, untaxed and often sold under-the-counter, which means they are available at ‘pocket money prices’, making it easier for children to buy them and to start smoking from a young age.
Steve Playle from London Trading Standards, said: “Trading Standards Officers across London are at the forefront of the battle to crack down on illegal tobacco. We work hard to advise businesses of their responsibilities, but take robust action to identify those criminals who flout the law and bring them before the Courts. It is important for this work to be targeted to protect the health and well-being of Londoners and we hope that the roadshows will encourage more intelligence to be gathered.”
Not only is Enfield Council’s roadshow an excellent opportunity to learn about illegal tobacco sales and how this can affect our community, there is also a chance to win a prize just for stopping by. Fill in our survey regarding the sale of illegal tobacco in Enfield, and you will be entered into our raffle*, with a prize from department store Pearsons for the winner.
If Enfield residents see any tobacco products that match the descriptions below or have information which may be useful, they are advised to email trading.standards@enfield.gov.uk or call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06. You can also make a report online at www.londontradingstandards.org.uk/report-consumer-crime.

Tell-tale signs of illegal tobacco include:
·         Packets with foreign language health warnings
·         Packets with no picture health warnings
·         Being much cheaper than normal cigarettes (i.e. £3.50 - £5.00 per pack of 20)
.         Packets not being sold in plain, standardised packaging, a measure which came into force in May 2017

*Terms and conditions apply. One raffle ticket per person on completion of the survey. A winning raffle ticket will be drawn randomly at 4pm on 17 July. The result of the raffle draw is final.