Tobacco products are, in themselves, a threat to public health. The dangers of smoking are well documented and as such the Labour led Leeds City Council have worked in conjunction with the NHS to bring down smoking rates in the city.

Leeds City Council are getting behind this year’s “World No Tobacco Day”, part of an initiative run by the World Health Organisation. “World No Tobacco Day” falls on 31st May and focuses on trying to eliminate the illegal trade in tobacco which is estimated to cover around 6-10% of the European Tobacco trade. The illegal trade in tobacco is entirely unregulated which means that the products sold illegally may be even more dangerous to the health of consumers than normal tobacco products. On top of this the funds created from the illegal tobacco trade end up in the hands of criminals and fund further crime.

Labour Councillor Lisa Mulherin, chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“We’ve made good progress in recent decades, almost halving tobacco use. Now we want to inspire a smoke free generation. Because the most deprived areas in our city have smoking rates almost twice the average we know we have lots more to do.

“Smoking kills half those who do it and illegal trade robs the health service of funds as well as funding crime. This means we cannot rest as we tackle tobacco use – legal and illegal.”

If you have suspicions or information about illegal tobacco you can contact Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111 www.crimestoppers-uk.org

More details of the WHO campaign are at http://www.who.int/tobacco/en/

Smoking cessation advice is available at: http://www.nhs.uk/smokefree

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