Bristol residents are being asked to stay vigilant and help the local authority stamp out illegal tobacco sales in the city.
Trading Standards and Public Health officers from Bristol City Council, will be out and about on Stapleton Road on February 26 to talk to members of the public and advise them of the dangers of illegal tobacco.
Ahead of the event, public health “Community Champions” will be visiting the traders selling tobacco and cigarettes on the street, and asking them to display illegal tobacco awareness raising posters.
Previously, information about where illegal tobacco is being sold has often come from members of the public.
Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor with responsibility for Public Health, said: “All tobacco is harmful, and smoking is a major cause of preventable diseases. But if tobacco is cheap, chances are it is illegal.
“Illegal tobacco poses an additional threat to our children and communities as there is no quality control in the manufacturing process. Illegal tobacco is known to make it easier for children to start smoking, as it is sold at pocket money prices.
“Our Trading Standards and Public Health teams are determined to crack down on the sale and supply of illegal tobacco, and we would encourage anyone with information about the sale of illegal products to report it to us confidentially using the Crimestoppers hotline.”
Many Illegal cigarettes are unlikely to comply with safety standards and they will often not self-extinguish when not continually smoked, greatly increasing the fire safety risk at home. They are also likely to exceed the legally permitted carbon monoxide and tar levels (in some cases by up to 80%) while not containing the amount of nicotine stated on the pack.
Profits made from the sale of illegal tobacco, often fund other serious and organised crime such as modern slavery, people trafficking and drugs.
To report illegal tobacco activity to Trading Standards please visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org and use their reporting form or call them on 0800 555 111, they cannot trace your call and will never ask for your name.
The marquee will be onsite on Stapleton Road (corner with Thrissell Street) on Monday February 26 between 12pm and 4.30pm.