Newport Residents Urged to Report Sale of Illegal Tobacco
A CAMPAIGN to stem the ‘serious problem’ of illegal tobacco sales in Wales has won the backing of a Newport politician.
Newport East MS John Griffiths encourages his constituents to report suspected illegal tobacco sales in the city.
The push comes as ASH Cymru launches a new reporting website – No Ifs. No Butts – part of a national campaign against illegal tobacco backed by the Welsh Government, HMRC and Trading Standards.
The site provides detailed information on the dangers of illegal tobacco sales and offers a facility to report suspected illegal sales.
Illegal tobacco refers to cigarettes or rolling tobacco pouches that are either counterfeit, mass produced and smuggled into another country, cheap tobacco smuggled into the UK without duty paid or cigarettes sold individually rather than in bundles. Illegal sellers most often sell in shops, private homes, pubs and clubs, on social media, in car trunks or on the street.
ASH Wales says it is a ‘serious problem due to its links to serious organized crime’.
Mr Griffiths said: “This is particularly important in preventing children in Wales from becoming addicted to tobacco.
“The Welsh Government is currently embarking on ambitious plans to make Wales smoke-free by 2030.
“Tackling this illegal market is crucial to this ambition, which will help reduce the prevalence of smoking in Wales.”
Suzanne Cass, CEO of Ash Cymru, said: “The new reporting website will be an unwavering platform to reduce illegal tobacco sales in Wales.
“Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Wales, costing our NHS £302million every year. The launch of the new website is part of wider efforts to protect the health of Wales.
“We know that illegal tobacco fuels other areas of crime and is a known gateway for children to start smoking. If you are aware of any illegal sales in your area, I urge you to report it through the new website and help us put a stop to this market in Wales.
To report a suspected sale of illegal tobacco or to learn more about illegal tobacco, visit noifs-nobutts.co.uk