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Illegal tobacco - help stop kids smoking

Keep It Out 2022

People in Gateshead are being urged to help keep illegal tobacco out of their local community and stop more local kids from starting to smoke.

Figures show that illegal tobacco sold from shops and private homes or "tab houses" linked to criminals is a major source of cigarettes and tobacco for teenagers. It comes as the Keep It Out campaign launches again in the North East.

Thousands of people in the region have given information anonymously on local sellers, leading to seizures, court action and shops facing closure orders and huge fines.

While most traders are honest, shop owners who sell smuggled or fake tobacco can lose their alcohol and their lottery licence. They can also face huge tax bills and closure orders from local authorities or the police.

All people need to do is visit keep-it-out.co.uk/ or call 0300 999 0000 to report local sales to trading standards with full anonymity.

Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh and Balance, said: "Nobody wants our children to smoke, but people who sell illegal tobacco don't care who they sell to. There are regular reports of children buying it.

"That is why we have seen thousands of people giving information about local illegal tobacco sales through the Keep it Out campaign.

"Around 15 people in the North East die every day from smoking. Stopping illegal tobacco is an important part of efforts to make smoking history for more families in the North East."

Alice Wiseman, Gateshead's Director of Public Health, said: "More and more people in Gateshead are giving information to help tackle illegal tobacco sales. People do not want the crime it brings into their local community or local children to start smoking.

"Buying illegal tobacco means funding the organised crime groups who bring it into the country. These people profit from keeping smokers addicted and enabling kids to start.

"Our trading standards team is in a position to take action against local sales and find illegal tobacco where it is being sold."

Keep It Out 2022
01 August 2022

People in Gateshead are being urged to help keep illegal tobacco out of their local community and stop more local kids from starting to smoke.

Figures show that illegal tobacco sold from shops and private homes or "tab houses" linked to criminals is a major source of cigarettes and tobacco for teenagers. It comes as the Keep It Out campaign launches again in the North East.

Thousands of people in the region have given information anonymously on local sellers, leading to seizures, court action and shops facing closure orders and huge fines.

While most traders are honest, shop owners who sell smuggled or fake tobacco can lose their alcohol and their lottery licence. They can also face huge tax bills and closure orders from local authorities or the police.

All people need to do is visit keep-it-out.co.uk/ or call 0300 999 0000 to report local sales to trading standards with full anonymity.

Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh and Balance, said: "Nobody wants our children to smoke, but people who sell illegal tobacco don't care who they sell to. There are regular reports of children buying it.

"That is why we have seen thousands of people giving information about local illegal tobacco sales through the Keep it Out campaign.

"Around 15 people in the North East die every day from smoking. Stopping illegal tobacco is an important part of efforts to make smoking history for more families in the North East."

Alice Wiseman, Gateshead's Director of Public Health, said: "More and more people in Gateshead are giving information to help tackle illegal tobacco sales. People do not want the crime it brings into their local community or local children to start smoking.

"Buying illegal tobacco means funding the organised crime groups who bring it into the country. These people profit from keeping smokers addicted and enabling kids to start.

"Our trading standards team is in a position to take action against local sales and find illegal tobacco where it is being sold."

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