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Cornwall illegal tobacco campaign marks seven years since smoking ban

By CMJacqui  |  Posted: June 30, 2014

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Illegal tobacco campaign marks seven years since smoking ban was introduced in pubs

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SEVEN years since smoking was banned in pubs, new figures show more than one in five Cornwall smokers use illegal tobacco.

The figures, which show a total of 21.7 per cent of people in Cornwall use black market products, compared to a national average of 16 per cent, have been published to mark the launch of a campaign by Smokefree South West to stamp out illegal tobacco in the region. 

The campaign, which includes radio and billboard advertising, starts today - seven years since smoke free legislation came into force on 1 July 2007. 

The statistics, from the Tackling Illegal Tobacco for Better Health programme, show the number of people in Cornwall uncomfortable with illegal tobacco in their community has increased from 31% in 2010 to 41% in 2013. Eight out of ten (82%) of the people surveyed also felt that illegal tobacco was a danger to children. 

The initiative to stamp out illegal tobacco, which is known to be a key route to young people taking up smoking and to bring criminals into communities, is being led by Smokefree South West alongside HMRC, Trading Standards, the Police, Crimestoppers, Cornwall Council and other local authorities across the region. 

Felicity Owen, Director of Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: "This is a serious problem and one that the Council is tackling on an ongoing basis. This campaign is about helping the public understand and help us by providing information that will help us target the criminals who damage our community and people’s health. 

"Illegal tobacco is often sold at pocket money prices that encourage young people to take up smoking and make it easier for people to stay hooked on tobacco, so removing it from the market is key to protecting residents’ health."

Fiona Andrews, director of Smokefree South West, said: "All tobacco is harmful, but illegal tobacco poses an additional threat to our children and communities, because it is sold at pocket money prices by criminals who are not interested in asking for proof of age. 

"We are calling on members of the public to keep their eyes open and if they have any knowledge of illegal tobacco being sold then report it. Illegal tobacco can be most easily recognised if it’s cheap. An £8 packet for less than half the price, or a pack or pouch with foreign health warnings is illegal. 

"Anyone who will sell that won’t ask questions about age, and might well have even more dangerous things to sell. If you see it, please report it, this isn’t about some ‘harmless bootlegging’, it’s about keeping criminals out of your neighbourhood and children and young people safe from harm and a potentially deadly habit." 

The sale of illegal tobacco is a criminal offence. Anyone wishing to report the selling of illegal tobacco can report anonymously online to Trading Standards at www.stop-illegal-tobacco.co.uk or call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

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4 comments

  • harleyrider21  |  July 07 2014, 12:55PM

    The inconvenient truth is that the only studies of children of smokers suggest it is PROTECTIVE in contracting atopy in the first place. The New Zealand study says by a staggering factor of 82%. "Participants with atopic parents were also less likely to have positive SPTs between ages 13 and 32 years if they smoked themselves (OR=0.18), and this reduction in risk remained significant after adjusting for confounders. The authors write: "We found that children who were exposed to parental smoking and those who took up cigarette smoking themselves had a lower incidence of atopy to a range of common inhaled allergens. "These associations were found only in those with a parental history of asthma or hay fever." They conclude: Our findings suggest that preventing allergic sensitization is not one of them." The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Volume 121, Issue 1 , Pages 38-42.e3, January 2008 http://tinyurl.com/c6r9yyn)01954-9/abstract . This is a Swedish study. "Children of mothers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day tended to have lower odds for suffering from allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, allergic asthma, atopic eczema and food allergy, compared to children of mothers who had never smoked (ORs 0.6-0.7) CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates an association between current exposure to tobacco smoke and a low risk for atopic disorders in smokers themselves and a similar tendency in their children." Clin Exp Allergy 2001 Jun;31(6):908-14 http://tinyurl.com/d84y32g ... It appears we should be smoking around children not hiding it!

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  • harleyrider21  |  July 07 2014, 12:53PM

    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke: http://tinyurl.com/mg9ebqq Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds. By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News. Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe. What's more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none. "I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs," said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study........................... Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it! The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered: Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year. 146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY. A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose. Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

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  • harleyrider21  |  July 07 2014, 12:53PM

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) could not even produce evidence that passive smoke is significantly harmful inside, this is what they wrote prior to the smoking ban in article 9 OC255/15 9 "The evidential link between individual circumstances of exposure to risk in exempted premises will be hard to establish. In essence, HSE cannot produce epidemiological evidence to link levels of exposure to SHS to the raised risk of contracting specific diseases and it is therefore difficult to prove health-related breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act". The reason the ban was brought in under the Health Act 2006, and not by the HSE, because no proof of harm was needed with the Health Act 2006, and the HSE have to have proof, seems the DM has lost rational thought about anything smoke related. HATE IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE

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  • MichaelJMcF  |  July 03 2014, 5:12AM

    Odd that there's absolutely NO mention of the one absolutely sure-fired solution that would completely and totally wipe out the illegal tobacco trade and protect the children by moving sales back into licensed premises. It's a solution that could be implemented overnight, with no training or police or jails or negotiations or border patrols involved. Just tax tobacco at the same rate you tax broccoli and you'll instantly see the illegal tobacco trade fall to the level of the illegal broccoli trade. Combine that with moving smoking back into adults-only pubs and clubs so that 90% of its current visibility to children disappears, and you might see tobacco taking a position right alongside broccoli in terms of popularity amongst the children. Any politician voting against these two positions, eliminating the tax and allowing pubs to invite their smoking customers back inside and out of sight, should be removed from office immediately due to the threat they're wantonly posing to children. How's that for a thought? Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

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