World No Tobacco Day
Are You Tobacco Free?
The chances are that most people who don’t smoke cigarettes will answer ‘Yes’ to the above question but did you know that in the UK there are over 100 different types of products other than cigarettes which contain tobacco?
Do you use?
As part of World No Tobacco Day (31st May), West Yorkshire Trading Standards is raising awareness of the dangers of tobacco use in order to support local communities to make informed health choices about the use of such products. World No Tobacco Day is organised every year by the World Health Organisation to highlight that tobacco kills nearly 8 million people every year and over 1 million people who die from exposure to tobacco smoke.
The Tackling Illicit Tobacco for Better Health Programme which is funded by the five Public Health authorities in West Yorkshire is helping people to stop tobacco use for good by educating the public and by investigating traders who supply cheap and illicit tobacco. The programme utilises marketing campaigns and multi-agency enforcement to tackle the problems of the illicit trade. To date the programme has taken nearly 5.5 million illegal cigarettes and 1.5 tonnes of illegal hand rolling tobacco off the streets. With more inspections planned in West Yorkshire in the future these figures are likely to increase.
There are over 100 different types of products other than cigarettes which contain tobacco. These products are sometimes known as smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco or niche tobacco. Many are not adequately labelled with health warnings and many are sold to young people under 18. A sensation which has rapidly grown in popularity amongst young people is the smoking of “Shisha” or the waterpipe. It has become a social occasion like going to the movies or out for a meal. Parents even allow young children to participate as they think it is a safe alternative to cigarette smoking. In fact one full shisha session can produce the same amount of smoke as up to 200 cigarettes as well as cause a number of oral cancers.
Linda Davis, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Manager said, “The public must take a more active role to ensure that young people in our communities are protected and can no longer access tobacco. Those that trade in illicit tobacco are also often involved in other criminality like modern slavery, human trafficking and drugs supply.”
Councillor Les Shaw, Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee which oversees the work of Trading Standards said, “All tobacco – both legal and illegal – kills half of all long term smokers. Children and young smokers are often targeted by people who sell illegal cigarettes, making it even easier for them to get hooked on smoking. The people making money out of this do not care who they sell to.”
More information about the campaign can be found at
If you need to report a trader selling cheap and illegal tobacco please contact the Illegal Tobacco Hotline on 0300 999 0000 or report it at
More information about the campaign can be found on the website and anyone wanting help to quit can find their local Stop Smoking Service at