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Bradford retailers warned over underage smoking
11:00am Monday 15th October 2012 in News
Trading Standards chiefs are warning retailers in Bradford to crack down on the sale of cigarettes to children during the month-long Stoptober campaign.
While figures from the last 12 months show only one shop in the city was caught selling cigarettes to youngsters in 26 undercover stings, West Yorkshire Trading Standards is urging staff to continue their work to stop underage youngsters picking up the habit.
The watchdog said the number of retailers in Bradford snared in inspections was lower than across the rest of Yorkshire, where about 20 per cent of targeted shops fail test purchase operations.
But it said it is supporting Stoptober, a national campaign encouraging smokers to quit during October, and asked the public to contact them if they suspect a retailer is illegally selling cigarettes to under-18s.
Chief officer Graham Hebblethwaite said: “The Stoptober campaign is a great idea to encourage people to quit smoking and get the benefits that come from quitting, such as better lung function and reducing your risk of lung cancer.
“Healthy lifestyle choices are particularly vital to young people and therefore it is important that shops selling to underage children are reported to Trading Standards.”
Trading Standards said its latest figures show that in Yorkshire and the Humber, 30 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds had tried smoking at least once and that five per cent were regular smokers. In Bradford, the overall number of smokers is abound 21 per cent of the overall population – lower than the average for Yorkshire, which stands at 23 per cent.
Bradford Councillor Val Slater, chairman of the Trading Standards Committee, said: “Stoptober is a brilliant campaign and residents of West Yorkshire should become involved in order to help reduce the smoking prevalence.”
Anyone who suspects a shop is breaking the law by selling cigarettes to under-18s should phone Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06.