World No Tobacco Day

East London council to mark World No Tobacco Day with planned operation

A top priority for the Trading Standards Service at Barking and Dagenham Council is ensuring young people are safe and that they can’t easily get hold of any type of tobacco. 

This links in well with World No Tobacco Day’s (WNTD) theme for this year, which is “protecting young people from the tactics of the tobacco industry”.

According to London Tobacco Alliance: ‘In the UK, 280 children start smoking every day. The tobacco industry is focused on getting a new generation addicted to protect their profits. It spends around 8 billion dollars a year on various forms of advertising. The more exposure adolescents and teens have to tobacco advertising, the more likely they are to start smoking.’

To coincide with WNTD (Friday 31 May), Barking and Dagenham Council’s Trading Standards team ran an underage test purchasing operation on Wednesday 29 May which resulted in:

18 number of businesses visited with only one failure.

In the past year, Trading Standards have conducted 30 underage test purchasing operations for cigarettes and only two were sold, which equals a 6.7% failure rate.

Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “We all know that smoking can have a negative impact on people’s health, so making sure our young people are restricted from accessing tobacco-based products is a key focus for us. 

“I’m pleased to see that the majority of businesses in the borough are not selling to our young people and the test purchasing operations are making a difference.”

Councillor Maureen Worby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Integration said: “We see so many young people walking around smoking or vaping without a thought for their health, so it’s vital that we do all we can to stop them being able to buy cigarettes or vapes.

“Working alongside our partners, it is important that local businesses work with us as they have a huge role to play in this by not selling to them as well as parents making sure they’re educating their children on the dangers of smoking.”

The council also runs similar test purchasing operations for vapes and has a borough-wide Responsible Retailer Scheme for businesses not to sell vapes to anyone under 18. So far, 35 businesses have signed up. 

If residents would like to report a trader for selling age-restricted products such as vapes, cigarettes, alcohol, fireworks or knives, they should email or call on 0808 223 1133.